PRICELESS HISTORY: Volunteers Ian Scougall and Ken Brooks on the ground floor of the School of Arts building while Cr George Seymour examines the original book collection.
PRICELESS HISTORY: Volunteers Ian Scougall and Ken Brooks on the ground floor of the School of Arts building while Cr George Seymour examines the original book collection. Contributed

New life for historic site

VOLUNTEERS and contractors have finished the first stage of the mammoth job to repair Maryborough's flood-damaged School of Arts building.

False roofs have been removed to restore the building's wide doors and high ceilings.

It has been rewired and floorboards, damaged by floodwater and termites, have been replaced.

Fraser Coast Council has also applied to restore the original Victorian paint scheme of yellows and browns in the heritage-listed building.

Volunteer Ken Brooks said the repairs were on track for the re-opening of the building - and its historic collection - to the public on Open House Day in October.

The building is home to the Maryborough and Wide Bay Historical Society and its extensive collection, which was thrown into disarray during the floods.

Mr Brooks said the floods presented an opportunity to rediscover parts of the collection.

He said a digital cataloguing system would be introduced to ensure the society's 16,000 photos would not be lost.

Volunteer Ian Scougall said about 200 photos were damaged permanently in the floods.

Decades-old ledgers from Maryborough's biggest companies were frozen in the aftermath of the flood and must be taken to Brisbane to be restored.

"They are still frozen and we are working on information on freeze-drying," Mr Brooks said.

Records of the Fraser Coast Chronicle dating back to the late 1800s soon will be stored in a specially built cabinet, kept off the ground.

Low-UV lights have been installed to protect the School of Arts original book collection.

School of Arts building

  • The original high ceilings and wide doorway have been restored
  • Termite-damaged window frames have been replaced


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