Work is ready to commence on the new Oberon Community Hub.
Replacing the dentist's surgery and the buildings connecting the library to the Robert Hooper Centre, the Hub will provide space for a greatly expanded library and Community Technology Centre (CTC) as well as an auditorium and exhibition and meeting spaces.
The Robert Hooper Centre, which opened in 2012, will be retained, and the architects have incorporated it and much of the existing library into the design of the new building.
July 19 marked the official start and ground breaking. A smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country were conducted by Adrian Williams as a representative of the Wiradjuri people.
Mr Williams said the single word that describes Wiradjuri philosophy is "Respect", and the mutual respect between the Wiradjuri people and Oberon's citizens shows the importance of friendship and cooperation.
Mayor Mark Kellam was also in attendance and welcomed the start.
"The enlarged library and the new auditorium will allow us to do things that haven't been possible up to now, such as the large group reading sessions conducted by schools across the state," he said.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole, who was not in attendance, said in a statement that it was good to see work commencing on such an important project.
"It is good to see work finally starting on this important building which will bring improved and well needed amenities for Oberon," Mr Toole said.
"It is being partly funded by a NSW government grant but the people of Oberon own the project."
Oberon has been waiting a long time for more suitable facilities for public events and the new Community Hub will provide the space for more clubs, societies and local groups to meet, as well as areas suitable for performing arts and displays.
Construction will take several months, and the Oberon Review will carry regular progress reports.
During this time the library will be located in the hall at St Barnabas Anglican Church at 100 Oberon Street and the CTC will be at the Visitor Information Centre in Ross Street.
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