THE newly refurbished and upgraded Yovelton House at Albion Park Rail was opened up for a tour this week.
More than $230,000 raised by the Special Rate Variation has been spent to upgrade sections of the 93-year-old building that had degraded over time.
The building was constructed in 1921 by Thomas Whitfield, who built houses at Dunmore for the James family and also a country retreat for Sir William McMillan ‘Riverview’ near the Macquarie Rivulet.
The council purchased the property in 1986 and it is currently used as a community facility by the Koori Men’s Group.
The house recently underwent a facelift in accordance with heritage guidelines, which saw a new timber deck, stairs, roof, gutter, roof, ceilings and a brand new veranda room complete with kitchen and toilet facilities.
Uncle Gerald Brown a member of the men’s group said the renovations had significantly improved the function, accessibility and safety of the weekly house for the group programs.
“We love the house. It is of cultural significance in this area and because of its long history very connected to the land,” he said.
Mayor Marianne Saliba said it was good to see the refurbishment finish for a important community group.
"This property provides a valuable link to our heritage and our future, by accommodating services that benefit the people now and into the future within a structure built in the past,"
“The men’s group run a variety of programs from the house including mentoring, outings, a vegetable garden and a variety of other activities,” she said.
“For some men in the past they have felt a little isolated but coming here has given them the confidence to participate in the wider community.