Trustees of the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn have received a $94,727 NSW Government heritage grant to adapting the Hartigan Centre in Yass.
The grant will go towards adapting the historic building for cultural activities for residents of Yass Valley and surrounding districts.
Bob Nash, project manager at the Hartigan Centre, said the building would be returned to music and become the centre of music.
It would be used not only for teaching the subject but to hear the sounds of music across the broad spectrum it produces.
“To carry out this high-performance achievement, the building has to comply with all statutory requirements and of course it takes a lot of money to follow through with that,” Mr Nash said.
The grant was one of almost 40 grants awarded under the latest round of the Government’s Heritage Near Me Activation Grants Program.
“We have been very fortunate to have received it,” Mr Nash said.
The grant money will be mainly used for the supply and and installation of a lift for people with disabilities to access the 11 teaching spaces on the first floor.
The balance of the funding will be used for the completion of the male toilet area.
Stage two of the overall development will be the completion of the 11 teaching rooms on the first floor, air conditioning, carpet and toilet.
“This will take a considerable amount of finance to achieve but hopefully a further grant may become available,” Mr Nash said.
“Together with our own finances and anonymous donations, the dream will become a reality and provide a first class cultural centre for music for the Yass Valley and beyond.”
The Hartigan Centre is owned by St Augustine’s Parish.
Before that, it was the Mount Carmel Convent – a centre of education excellence and music since 1900 and home of the Sisters of Mercy since they arrived in Yass in 1875.
It is a building that has survived many changes since its first stone was laid in 1875.
Mr Nash thanked Yass Valley Council, Pip Giovanelli (the council’s heritage advisor), Mayor Rowena Abbey, Parish Priest Father Mick Burke and Peter Doyle who helped prepared the necessary paperwork.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said these grants provided support to heritage items that were open to the public.
“This funding doesn’t only mean we can invest in protecting and preserving our local heritage but it means we’re giving more people the opportunity to appreciate their local history,” Ms Goward said.
“These grants acknowledge and support the vital role owners and managers of locally listed heritage items play in protecting our local heritage.”
Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said the funding was designed for local government, businesses and community organisations to reactivate and preserve local heritage spaces and precincts.
“This funding will help communities build on the knowledge they have with their heritage. Nobody knows their heritage better than the locals who live and breathe it,” Ms Upton said.