With the support of the community, the Mid Murray Council purchased the historic Mannum institute with the intention it is reopened to the public.
The council purchased the property for $180,000 late last month, after a building report had cleared the condition of the premises.
Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess said the community benefits which lay ahead for the town’s historic building were very exciting.
“The council recognises the significance of the Mannum institute to the district and we’re looking forward to bringing this beautiful old building back to life,” Mr Burgess said.
“Already a range of excited community groups have engaged with council on possible uses for the venue, and we have the support of both the Mannum Progress Association and Mannum History Group to explore best ways to open up the grandeur of the historic building.
“Mannum’s main street, township appeal and River Murray culture are steeped in incredible history, and now the insitute can form a part of continuing to showcase this to our community and visitors.”
A repair plan will be prepared by council which will outline urgent structural works and other planned building remediation which is set to take place over a 10-year period, with expected costs of up to $200,000.
MMC chief executive officer Russell Peate said that while the inside of the building was in better condition than when he had first inspected it but acknowledged there was still some work to do.
“There are two major projects that lie ahead of us now to ensure we make best use of the Mannum institute. Firstly, we need to ensure structural integrity of the building, and secondly decide on an approach for its future use for the medium and long term,’ Mr Peate said.
“In the coming months, we will begin a community consultation process, which will include open days for the public to view the building’s interior and make comment on its possible future use.
“We will also be working alongside key community interest groups – the Mannum Progress Association and Mannum History Group – to ensure their views are considered on use of the premises.”
The council will prepare a report – following the community consultation process – which will outline the possible future uses of the institute.
“We expect this change of ownership to be a real coup for the town, with the main street icon potentially being opened up for events and celebrations of all kinds,” Mr Peate said.
“Once both the repair plans and future use report are complete, we can start to explore opportunities to access external grants to support the activities.”