Singleton Historical Museum reopens to visitors on 6 June

After a much longed-for upgrade, the Singleton Museum will be open on 6 June to unveil a new look including a new exposed steel truss roof to help preserve its historical collection for generations to come.

Singleton Council worked with local building firm Perram and Toohey to deliver the $691,000 project, funded by a NSW Government Stronger Country Communities grant of $539,000 and a Council contribution of $152,000.

“There were things that have been found that I didn’t even know we had,” Singleton Historical Society president Peggy Moore said.

The project began in mid-January and was officially completed at the end of May. A key feature was raising the level of the roof in the rear annexe by 600mm, and installing translucent sheeting to create a light, bright exhibition space. And with a new roof above it all, there’ll be no need for buckets the next time it rains.

As well as all-ability access ramps at the entry to the building and inside, an automatic entry door, an accessible toilet, an all-new roof over the back annexe and an outdoor pergola and paving, the scope of works also included moving the artefacts into five shipping containers for the duration of the project.

Perram and Toohey directors Shane Proctor and Craig Knox said 3,000 manhours were devoted to the project, with between eight to 10 people onsite most days including a first and third year apprentice.

Mr Knox said it was timely the project was local as COVID-19 restrictions impacted travel, and changes were made to limit the number of people onsite in keeping with social distancing requirements.

“It’s a really good result and it was good to have this project ongoing – otherwise, it may have been very difficult,” he said.

Mark Ihlein, Council’s Director Planning and Infrastructure, said the museum upgrade was delivered under a fantastic partnership between the NSW Government, Council, local contractors and the members of the Singleton Historical Society.

“This is an excellent example of a lot of people working together to provide better facilities for our community not just now, but for generations to come,” he said.

“The museum building is in itself an important historical landmark as being on land donated by Benjamin Singleton, and where he himself built the town’s first courthouse. But it is now even more significant as the location of our civic foundations and now the home of our history.

“This has been a very important project for Council and the community, particularly now in challenging times. I congratulate everyone involved, and encourage everyone to see the improvements for themselves by visiting the Museum and the site.”