When spring rolls around again, the community of Emerald Hill will be able to take full advantage of its upgraded facilities.
The progress association's proactive approach has seen the corrugated iron toilet blocks replaced after 50 years, new LED lighting installed, electrical rewiring and new electrical switches. Works still in progress are a generous covered verandah, new ceiling fans and handrails to access the ramp.
The works have been funded by $90,000 under the Drought Community Program, $25,000 under the Community Building Partnership Program and remaining funds from $5000 Monsanto's Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal grant.
It is a win for the farming community as the drought continues to weigh on their shoulders, and will be celebrated in the coming months with a free ball.
Association chair Scott McCalman said it was "fantastic" to see the changes taking place.
"[The upgrades] really complement and modernise the building and are certainly going to make the hall more user-friendly for the community, especially having the shaded area during the hot months," he said.
The toilets and electrical switches are now fully accessible and automated "energy-efficient" lighting means coming and going at night is no longer a safety issue.
Mr McCalman said it was a bit of a process to get the development application sorted for the works but they battled through.
"We did come up against some unexpected conveyancing and DA issues, which created quite a bit of extra work and prolonged the upgrade," he said.
"On a positive note, it's so wonderful to have community grants such as this and wonderful to have Gunnedah Shire Council on board in full support.
"As a community, we are overwhelmingly happy to have modern facilities up and running and it's wonderful going forward because we do have an active community and will run ongoing activities throughout the years."
"It would be fantastic for mid-day events such as the fashion parades, weddings, exercise classes, playgroup and meetings," Mr McCalman said.