The pandemic has ended up being an unexpected godsend for St Paul's Anglican Church.
After receiving a state government grant of $122,345 last year, the South Wagga parish has been able to use its forced COVID closure to restructure its original 58-year-old building.
"Our services were suspended in March, and we began [construction works] in April," said parish rector Scott Goode.
"We've been able to re-occupy the building and use it for some activities since August."
The timing of the renovations, Mr Goode said, could not have been better planned.
Reconstructing the building's amenities and re-structuring the floors turned out to be a much bigger job than Mr Goode anticipated.
It required enormous demolish works that rendered the building unusable for about five months.
Thankfully, the church was able to negotiate an accelerated timeline with Ladex Construction Group to begin works immediately after the COVID-19 shutdown was announced.
"It was excellent timing, we would have been in strife, would have had to shut down anyway," he said.
Much of the building has remained the same since it was first built in 1962 before it was used as a church.
In the 1980s, the lot was expanded and re-founded as a church, but many of the earlier amenities remained in place and have increasingly become inadequate.
Having just one female toilet available in the building, in 2002 a disabled toilet and change room was added.
But even still, with a congregation size of up to 300 people during peak periods it remained inadequate.
With restrictions easing on church gatherings from this Friday, Mr Goode is pleased the building is ready for its full usage.
"We have started a few things back in the church, but generally people are overwhelmed to see it now, it's so positive," he said.
"It's like it's a new hall."