The RMI has been a part of Romsey for well over 100 years and she will be here in another 100, however, any building that is over 100 years old needs lots of love and care. The CoM strives to bring this “Grand Old Lady” back to her former glory.
In recent years the CoM has overseen upgrades to the kitchen and new flooring in the supper room. New external doors have been installed and repairs to the stage completed. A safety system has been installed on the Institute’s roof providing roofers and other tradespeople with a safe working environment.
In June of 2015 extensive works were carried out in the laneway on the northern side of the building. These works unearthed some serious problems with the sewerage system and DELWP were able to assist us to have these problems rectified. The laneway was also re-contoured so that storm water ran into new drainage pits and away from the building.
Works were also carried out in Jan/Feb of 2016. These works saw all downpipes and spouting replaced, all brickwork capping replaced, all fascia repainted, all rendering repaired/renewed, the doors and windows on the facade repainted and the facade lettering and rendering repainted. Any loose roofing iron on the main building was screwed down and flashings around the vents were resealed.
Major works were also carried out on the “Billiards Room”, the home the Romsey/Lancefield Social Group. The weatherboards on this section of the RMI were sanded back, damaged windows and weatherboards repaired and/or replaced and then fully repainted. Any loose roofing iron was also screwed down.
Now that these works have made the building weather proof, we will begin the process of repairing the damage caused by the rising/falling damp. It will take at least12 months of use for the building to dry out and for the CoM to see the damp patches and other damage retreating. Plaster and rendering work will need to be repaired/replaced and there will need to be extensive repainting throughout all rooms of the RMI.
In February of 2016 the CoM was informed of a grant from the People For Places program within the MRSC. This grant, $10,500 and the original grant of $6,000 from the Shire now gives us enough money to design a Development Plan brief and put it to tender. This process was undertaken during May and June with the successful consultant being appointed. The Development Plan process will take around 12 weeks with the final report being handed to the CoM in late October/early November
In July 2016 the CoM applied for funds from the Bendigo Bank Community Funding Scheme. The application was stage one of a two stage project to upgrade the heaters in the supper room and the two meeting rooms. Chimney to be capped wand any loose bricks replace or re-mortared, purchase of a large gas heater, brick fireplaces made ready to accommodate cast fireplace inserts and gas and power supply run to each heater location. We were successful and the listed works have been carried out.
Stage two will see fans and low energy light installed in the Supper Rom with a split system heater/cooler and a fireplace insert put in place in the final room.
We are hoping to bring the Upstairs South Room back into use. This will require water and gas works as well as new carpet and painting. If we are successful this room will be available to the community, it will make an excellent short-term small office for the many home based businesses that are in the district. Community groups such as the Management Committee of the Romsey Rag may also be able to use this space.
In June 2017 we applied for funds from DELWP to repair the damaged plaster and render in the main hall and Supper Room. We were successful and these works were carried out in August. The north wall of the foyer was also repaired so that the WW1 Honour Rolls could be rehung after their repair and restoration works (Grant from Department of Premier & Cabinet)
The main hall, which holds up to 200 people and includes a stage, is available for hire to members of the community however if you are looking for something smaller, we have various rooms available that hold up to 30 people.
The CoM works hard to make the hire of our facilities as economic as possible for the community however hire charges must assist us to cover the cost of insurance, cleaning, electricity, gas, repairs and maintenance and ongoing improvements.