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Campaspe Shire grant plants a seed

Restoration of the Rochester Common School building is a step closer after the Rochester Planning Group allocated $15,000 to the Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society.

ELAINE COONEY July 1, 2014 3:10am

Friends of the Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society Lesley Smith and Diane Jacobs and member Jennifer Leddra. Photo: Elaine Cooney


Campaspe Shire approved a $15,000 grant from the Rochester Planning Group for the Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society last week.

The money will go towards seed funding for a Regional Development Victoria grant to restore the Rochester Common School building.

The estimated cost of the works is $81,000.

Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society secretary John Foster said a further $2300 was received as part of Campaspe Shire council’s community grants.

He said the society would need to come up with a further $1700 to have enough seed funding.

Mr Foster said the group was confident it would receive the grant because Regional Development Victoria invited the group to submit an expression of interest.

He said another condition of the grant was to supply $5000 worth of volunteer hours to the project which was possible.

Campaspe Shire’s heritage advisor deemed an upgrade to the school’s roof and stormwater system, replacing eaves and repointing of brickwork were essential.

The society officially became the guardian of the buildings on behalf of the Rochester community last week.

Cr Leigh Wilson said he was pleased to see the group take ownership of the building and that it was dedicated to preserving its history.

‘‘They are a dedicated bunch and I am sure they will go from strength to strength,’’ he said.

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