THE Mary MacKillop Penola Centre is once again open for business with a fresh look and new exhibits.
Centre staff and volunteers have already welcomed a number of intrastate travellers since the reopening earlier this month, ending a lengthy hiatus caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
While bookings have been impacted due to bus group cancellations, the centre team has remained busy conducting improvements around the site ready for the return of visitors.
Centre coordinator Marie Valenzuela said several visitors had already taken the opportunity to experience the displays.
“So far we have had a number of repeat visitors and there have been those who have travelled down throughout the state,” Ms Valenzuela said.
“Many new visitors are surprised at the range of exhibitions we have here and the amount of information we have and even more so now because we have a number of new exhibitions available.”
Ms Valenzuela said she was grateful to volunteers who had helped with maintenance jobs during the centre closure.
“Before our closure we did not have the time for the maintenance because we are open seven days a week and have visitors come through at all times,” she said.
“We decided to do it while we had nobody coming through.”
Ms Valenzuela said centre management had also held further discussions with Wattle Range Council on developing more signage around the district to promote the centre.
“It is something we had been asking for a while,” she said.
“A lot of people come to town looking for the centre but struggle to find it and it really is a beautiful building with a wonderful story to be shared.”
Kapunda resident and recent visitor Carol Cox travelled to Penola specifically to experience the centre’s history.
Describing the facility as a wonderful experience, Ms Cox said it was a fantastic selection of local history.
“I travelled here just to see what people were talking about and I absolutely love it,” Ms Cox said.
“It is a wonderful section of history preserved perfectly.”