In 2003 a group of people came together who shared a vision of a new community centre in the village of Hollywood. The old hall had become increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe for the people who regularly used it and it needed extensive remedial work to bring it to a modern standard.
A committee was formed under the tireless encouragement of Father Prendeville and after some discussion it was decided to knock down the old structure and replace it with a modern building which could house the various activities that take place in the village.
Land was donated by the late Andy Corrigan in order to enlarge the site, plans were drawn up and posted on the parish notice board and Planning Permission was quickly granted by Wicklow County Council.
A tremendous amount of paperwork was undertaken by the committee in order to submit proposals for funding to the various grant agencies. The project received money from Leader and the National Lottery provided 200,000 towards the main sports hall and there have also been private donations.
In the last two years, over 120,000 has been raised by local fund-raising. A lot of fun was also had at these events, such as The Alternative Hollywood Oscars Night, The Hollywood Festival last year and the Joe Dolan Concert earlier this year. The Elvis Night alone, in October 2003 raised 17,000.
These events are augmented by the Hollywood Lotto. The Lotto was started in April 2003 and has been won outright four times with prize money totalling 10,500.It has not been won for a while and the jackpot currently stands at 6,000. Tickets are available in the local shops and the draw takes place every fortnight in either The Hollywood Inn or Tuttys.
Despite the amount of fund-raising that has taken place so far, a significant amount still needs to be raised to finish paying the building costs. It is no harm to remind you that the Centre has charitable status and any donations received will be tax-deductable.
Future fund-raising activities are planned including a sponsored walk on St Kevin’s Way and there are plans for a concert at Christmas.
In April of this year, a sub-committee was formed to look into the running of the new centre. This committee have been very busy all summer researching the best systems and the day to day management structures.
They have also been aiming to fill the various rooms that are available with a variety of services and courses that will provide a wide range of activities for all members of the community. There is one main hall with timber flooring and underfloor heating. This can be used for sports of all kinds and it is hoped to also have concerts, exhibitions and lectures in the future.The main hall has a viewing gallery and showers and changing rooms.
There are some offices and some smaller rooms. One will be used by Dr Kearney who provides a medical clinic in Hollywood on Thursday mornings. These rooms will also be available to other health professionals who may like to extend their services to the area. The old clubrooms are being up-graded and will provide two larger rooms for meetings and groups.
Their will also be a modern state of the art kitchen within the Centre which will be available to hire separately or in conjunction with the use of the other rooms, i.e. it could create an alternative venue for birthday parties etc.
The Centre will need to be staffed on an on-going basis and the Management Committee are being assisted in this regard by Wicklow Leader who will employ a manager for the Centre provided they have a herd number. This is seen as a rural initiative to supplement the income of anyone who makes their living from the land. It is also hoped that FAS will provide two additional part-time caretakers.
The Centre is expected to open in September 2005 and the rooms are booking up quickly. Presently, there will be Badminton, Aerobics and Salsa Dancing. Future users of the centre are ICA, Playgoup, First-Aid Courses, Carers Association, First Responders Group, Whist and the Doctor, with many more enquiries that are not presently confirmed.
It is also envisaged that we could have an Active Retirement Group in the village and if anyone feels they could contribute in any way to setting this up, please can you contact a committee member.
The future success of the Centre will be measured by how well it serves the varied and diverse needs of the local community in providing a place where people can meet and enhance their lives in all the different aspects, such as fun, education, support, health and fitness and general social get-togethers.
We invite you to come along and make the new Hollywood Centre a happy and thriving venue.
There will be a chance for everyone to view the Centre before it opens for business after mass in the next couple of weeks.
Then when it is up and running and sorted, there will be an Official Opening Day which is yet to be confirmed.