What was once a pipe dream for the Omarama community, has become reality.
On Thursday, Residents Association of Omarama treasurer Glenys Dawson was notified that a $290,000 grant from the Lottery Grants Board was approved, which means restoration to the community centre can begin.
Around $700,000 was needed for the tender, which has been won by Amalgamated Builders Limited (ABL) in Queenstown.
"It was a bit of a pipe dream," Mrs Dawson says.
In 2009 a public meeting and community visioning day was held, at which locals indicated the restoration of the hall was a priority.
The association has already secured an architect and permit.
Although the hall was built more than 50 years ago, this will be the first restoration.
The process has been a nervous time for the community, says Mrs Dawson.
Funding has included $155,000 from the district council, $95,000 from the Otago Community Trust, $85,000 from Meridian and $30,000 from the Alexander McMillan Trust. "It's a big relief," she says.
The community hall will cater for the school to hold productions and sporting activities, Civil Defence, pre-school play group, medical room, commercial kitchen and emergency accommodation to name only a few.
"It will be self-funding when it's up and running," says Mrs Dawson.
The fate of the original RSA plaques has been the talk of the town and Mrs Dawson says they will remain with the hall.
It is unknown when building will begin on the hall, as a timetable will have to be established with ABL.
The association has two years to complete the restoration, which will include double-glazed windows, replacing the plumbing and adding heating.
"The heating was non-existent," she says.
Mrs Dawson says the community has backed the project each step of the way and it is vital for the town's future.
"It's crucial," she said.
Mrs Dawson says it will be a focal point for the town.
"I'm pleased for the community and the future of the town.
"It will attract more people to live and visit here."