See the plans unveiled for iconic building
FOR MORE than two years, Proserpine has been without its "heart and soul", the Proserpine Entertainment Centre, thanks to Cyclone Debbie.
Its revival has been locked in a waiting game as the Whitsunday Regional Council has worked to gather the funding required to rebuild the iconic facility.
The building is a key part of the community - a central meeting place that has hosted dance concerts, local theatre productions, weddings, morning melodies, wakes and more.
After the Whitsunday Regional Council was able to secure combined $10.75 million worth of funding from the state and federal governments, the wrecking ball can finally swing into action.
The first concept designs were unveiled to key stakeholders in May, and the response was mixed.
The major gripes were about a lack of seating, as three dance school owners agreed their end-of-year concerts raked in audience numbers of about 450 patrons.
They also said, as did other key stakeholders, that there would be no way that out-of-town shows would trek to Proserpine if the maximum audience number was capped at 300 people.
At Monday's stakeholder meeting, Whitsunday Regional Council director of corporate services, Jodie Rugless, said the seating had been increased to a retractable 380 tiered seating system.
Ms Rugless said the budget wouldn't allow for more than 380 seats.
Other keys changes included the removal of the meeting room and the 'star room', the extension of dressing rooms, and the relocation of the kitchen.
Another key change included a larger stage, which has been widened by two metres, making its width 12m.
Ms Rugless said it would be likely that tenders for the project would be called for about Christmas time.
She said the estimated build time for the project was 47 weeks, and the completion date for the centre was expected to be in February 2021.
The stakeholders agreed the amendments were an improvement on the previous design, and after their nod of approval, council voted to adopt the amended concept design at Tuesday's ordinary council meeting.
Whitsunday Regional Council Deputy Mayor John Collins said council had taken onboard key stakeholder feedback to the initial concept plan and made changes as requested to keep the project within budget.
"The approved design includes 380 retractable seats in a multi-purpose functional space, a café, bar and ticketing area, full commercial kitchen and more functional stage and dressing rooms," he said.