ARARAT - Construction of the Parish Centre at Ararat's Church of the Immaculate Conception is complete, with parishioners and members of the wider community benefiting from the new building.
Father Brendan Davey said works essentially finished at the end of August with only minor additions to the facility to still be carried out.
"So far we have had several after funeral gatherings and parish meetings, so it is getting quite a bit of use," he said.
"The reaction has been very positive from everyone, even those who weren't too sure in the beginning have become very much in favour of the building once they see how much space there actually is and how bright it is."
The new facility which is slightly bigger than the St Mary's Hall has modern toilets, a storage room, specially designed kitchen and meeting room.
The centre which will service both St Mary's Primary School and Marian College has disabled access and is easily accessible both through the church and from the street.
Construction of the project began in February and was finished well ahead of schedule, just six months later.
The design of the building has been kept consistent with the bluestone appearance of the Church
Sister Maree Holt said it was delightful the parish meeting place which had been on the parish team records since 2001 and discussed widely over many years had finally become a reality.
"So now we can really celebrate, for before our very eyes the back of the Church and surrounds have been transformed and what a splendid facility we now have," she said.
"Special thanks must go to the team of people who have seen this project to completion and of course the generosity of the parishioners who hopped in to help and in so many ways.
"Thank you for your outstanding generosity to the centre appeal so far."
Father Davey said money continues to flow in for the development project which was estimated to cost $600,000.
He said large sums of money had already been raised by the community through various fundraisers.
Away from the Parish Centre, works in front of the Presbytery have also been taking place with the installation of paving and an abstract art feature.
Nine planks of wood with varying heights and colours have been erected at the site of a tree that died during the drought.
Bishop Paul Bird will oversee the official opening of the new Parish Centre on Sunday, December 8 which is also conveniently a feast day for the Church of the Immaculate Conception.