Kurri Kurri Ambulance Hall reopens with repairs from November 2017 storm now complete

OPEN: Kurri Kurri Community Services CEO Mike Coddington, Cessnock councillor Darrin Gray, Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent and council's building maintenance coordinator Noel Sweetman with local children at the Kurri Kurri Ambulance Hall, which has reopened after storm damage repairs were completed.
OPEN: Kurri Kurri Community Services CEO Mike Coddington, Cessnock councillor Darrin Gray, Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent and council's building maintenance coordinator Noel Sweetman with local children at the Kurri Kurri Ambulance Hall, which has reopened after storm damage repairs were completed.

Repairs to the Kurri Kurri Ambulance Hall have been completed and the hall is has now reopened, almost two years after it was closed due to severe storm damage.

Cessnock City Council were forced to close the hall after the November 6, 2017 storm, which caused significant structural damage to the hall.

The hall's roof was dislodged, causing internal water damage, and restoring the building proved a difficult task, with challenges such as finding engineering solutions for the roof, and safely removing asbestos from the building.

"While the restoration of the hall took significantly longer than expected and were more extensive than first estimated the community now have an improved, safer and better facility," a council spokesperson said.

Council thanked the community for their patience, particularly the Kurri Kurri Community Services' Out of School Hours Care (OOSH), which was significantly disrupted during the repair works.

The OOSH moved next door to the Girl Guides Hall during the restoration.

DAMAGE: The hall's roof was torn off in a storm on November 6, 2017. Picture: Marina Neil

DAMAGE: The hall's roof was torn off in a storm on November 6, 2017. Picture: Marina Neil

Kurri Kurri Community Services CEO Mike Coddington said they were grateful for all of the hard work council has undertaken to return the hall to its former glory.

"We understand the hall has special meaning to local residents with many sharing stories of the community dances that use to occur," he said.

To celebrate the restoration, a dinner dance will be held at the ambulance hall on Friday, October 25. Anyone interested in attending can call the Kurri Kurri Community Centre on 4937 4555.

The community centre itself also sustained significant damage in the November 2017 storm, and is still undergoing repairs, although business continues as usual.

Two people were hospitalised with minor injuries after the centre's roof was ripped off during an afternoon the people of Kurri Kurri won't forget any time soon.

ROUGH DAY: Kurri Kurri Community Centre was also severely damaged in the storm on November 6, 2017. Picture: Marina Neil

ROUGH DAY: Kurri Kurri Community Centre was also severely damaged in the storm on November 6, 2017. Picture: Marina Neil

Meanwhile, all services have resumed at Kurri Kurri Ambulance Station, which was damaged in the same storm.

Ambulance services were temporarily housed at Kurri Kurri Hospital during the renovations. The station reopened in August.

"After many months of delays and multiple representations to the NSW Minister for Health work has finally been completed," Cessnock MP Clayton Barr said.

"The repairs have updated the station to modern standards and enables paramedics to continue to provide outstanding service to Kurri Kurri and surrounding communities."

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