Weakened over the decades from earthquakes and threatened by the elements, the 124-year-old Uniting Church Hall on Duke Street survives thanks to Juniper’s renovation to repurpose the building as a modern centre with resulting benefits for the whole community.
After extensive work to stabilise, restore and improve the Uniting Church Hall, the heritage building was officially opened by Juniper Board Chair Mr Fred Boshart earlier this month, together with long-standing Northam resident, volunteer and Uniting Church congregation Elder Mrs Laura Fox.
At the opening of the restored building, Juniper’s Chief Executive Vaughan Harding said: “The new facility is a practical regional training centre for current and future aged care professionals as well as meeting the needs of the local Uniting Church congregation in Northam.
“Northam is an important regional centre for Juniper as it doubles its capacity to respond community need for aged care and retirement living services over the next decade.
“Juniper is strongly connected to and is a long-term supporter of the Avon community and in the future wishes to create an aged care precinct adjacent to the Uniting Church in Duke Street,” according to Mr Harding.
The Northam Uniting Church Hall was built in 1892 as a place of worship responding to the needs of a growing community. Juniper acknowledges this past legacy by ensuring the vitality of the place and extending its utility and purpose for many years to come.
Because the building has local, State and national-level heritage significance, and is a rare example of its type, Juniper carefully completed the works in accord with a conservation plan. A specialist heritage stonemason was employed to restore its walls, roofing was replaced roofing and the building’s Kauri timber ceilings conserved.