Tallarook Mechanics Institute was badly damaged by fire on Saturday night (5 May). Building inspections are underway to determine whether the historic building will need demolishing and whether any heritage aspects of the building can be salvaged. Insurers will also be on site today.
Opened in 1891, the hall is a hub for the community with many regular activities, special events and functions held there including the popular monthly Tallarook Farmers' Market.
The building is owned by Council and operated by a volunteer Committee of Management.
Council provided support to enable the Tallarook Farmers Market to go ahead on Sunday at a nearby location.
Council will work with the Committee and the community to support alternative arrangements for activities at the hall in the short to medium term and will work closely with the community as replacement options are developed.
“This is heartbreaking for the community. There have been many fond memories shared amongst the community last night and today,” Cr Sanderson said.
“The hall’s historic value cannot be replaced, but the memories and community spirit remain strong for this significant local community gathering place.
“Council would like to thank the fire brigades who worked so hard to try to save the building. I’d also like to thank the other services, businesses and individuals who assisted on the night and the Committee of Management, Farmers’ Market organisers, stall holders and patrons for their support of the alternative market location on Sunday.
“There was such a great show of community spirit to make the market happen. I have no doubt this spirit will continue to shine as we work with the community to explore options to replace the hall in the future and identify alternative arrangements for community events and functions in the meantime.”
A community meeting will be held at 6pm at the Tallarook Recreation Reserve Pavilion on Tuesday 8 May to provide a community update. All welcome.