Stokes Bay Community Hall building gets new kitchen, veranda

The facilities at the Stokes Bay Community Hall continued to be improved and the venue is now available to rent for weddings, parties and other events.

Kangaroo Island councillors had a quick tour of the improvements last month while visiting the area to check out the nearby campground and were impressed with the new kitchen, veranda and plans for yet more works.

Hosting the visit was Stokes Bay Community Hall committee member Paul Houston who showed the councillors the new commercial kitchen in the old school building and new veranda surrounding the building.

The history of the Stokes Bay Community Hall started with the old Cassini School building that was moved to the site in December 1952 to cope with the growing population from the Soldiers Settlers Scheme.

The building was previously the school at American River and it was dismantled piece by piece and transported to Stokes Bay by road and reassembled in time for the start of the school year in 1953.

It remained the school for the locality until 1958, serving a yearly average of 18 children, when the bridge over the Cygnet River on the Stokes Bay Road was built, allowing students to attend school in Parndana.

The community then purchased the school and grounds and the larger hall building was built alongside opening in November 1960. Over the years it has been a meeting place for the Uniting Church, as well as a venue for the tennis and table tennis clubs. 

Now the Stokes Bay Community Hal committee has been able to move ahead with plans to connect the two buildings and improve the overall amenities at the site.

Mr Houston said the committee started the improvement program in 2016 with a budget of about $77,000, a combination of grant funds and money raised by the community.

“The first stage was to build a new kitchen in the school building,” Mr Houston said. “We wanted something modern and to be able used by other groups.”

The next stage and most recently completed was the construction of a covered veranda around the school building to allow people to sit and eat outside while watching tennis or attending other events.

The third and final stage will be to connect the two buildings by removing the stage from the hall building and opening the rear of that building to the adjacent school building with a sliding door and connecting concrete floor.

Mr Houston said the committee had sought quotes from local builders for the project and it was hoped to have these final works completed for the annual big Stokes Bay fireworks show on the first Friday of November.

In the meantime, the committee would love to hear from anyone wanting to hire out the facilities, so contact one of the Stokes Bay locals to make inquires.