SPACIOUS: The large interior allows room for multiple work stations as well as equipment and material storage.
SPACIOUS: The large interior allows room for multiple work stations as well as equipment and material storage. Julia Bartrim

Tools down: men's shed opens

IT TOOK six years but the Gladstone Men's Shed is finally celebrating the opening of their brand new, super-sized facility at Barney Point.

The giant shed, with its 600m2 interior, was built thanks to a $600,000 grant from The Gladstone Foundation which covered the cost of the shed, materials and construction.

Gladstone Regional Council also stepped up, donating the Barney Point land on which the shed was built back in 2011.

But, says Gladstone Men's Shed president Gerry Graham, the shed couldn't have been completed without the staunch support of its members.

"About 20 members (of the men's shed) got construction white cards and worked under the supervision of a licensed builder to fit out the interior - all the offices; we built, all the internal walls, all the electrical work,” said Mr Graham.

"We're very happy to be here, there's been a lot of hurdles on the way and a lot of people have worked very hard.”

Construction on the shed itself started at the end of 2016 with the official build finishing in February.

The Men's Shed team moved all the machinery across in July and then began the lengthy process of setting everything up.

Mr Graham says they are over 75% complete in terms of getting equipment set up and functional.

The shed was certainly looking productive, one week out from opening, with over a dozen men working various pieces of equipment to create items like painted wooden wheelbarrows for childcare centres and cat scratching posts for the RSPCA.

The men had also created a storeroom stocked to the rafters with nails, hooks, screws and other items of hardware.

Mr Graham, who has been president of the Gladstone Men's Shed for four years said the men's shed team not only provided a useful service to the community but it also benefited members by offering them an informal atmosphere to socialise.

He said he hopes to see more young men signing up for the new shed, so that the older men can pass on skills, some of which are no longer taught these days.



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