REBUILDING: Melissa Steele, Brett Kleidon and Brent Byrne on the site of the old Church Pharmacy, which is being rebuilt bigger and better than ever as part of a major franchise.
REBUILDING: Melissa Steele, Brett Kleidon and Brent Byrne on the site of the old Church Pharmacy, which is being rebuilt bigger and better than ever as part of a major franchise. Mike Knott BUN010818CHURCH1

Iconic pharmacy starts to rise from the ashes two years on

MORE than two years since the disastrous fire ripped through the iconic Church Pharmacy, a new building is about to rise out of the ashes.

The building will cost more than $1 million, will be double the size of the original and is set to open its doors by Christmas.

Owner Brent Byrne said he was devastated when he received the call on April 6, 2016.

He was living on the Sunshine Coast and immediately jumped in his car to inspect the damage.

Multiple fire crews were on the scene of the blaze, which took half an hour to control.

Sadly the building was damaged so severely it could not be saved and was demolished in January last year.

Kleidon Master Built Homes has been tasked to rebuild the pharmacy with construction starting on Monday.

Officer manager Melissa Steele said the slab preparation and pouring would be under way by Friday, with the whole project taking 16 weeks.

"It is exciting to see it rise out of the ground and take shape. It will be a lot bigger than the original pharmacy, the whole block will be utilised,” she said.

"We are extremely proud of this project and have been working with architect John Gatley and Brent.”

Mr Bryne said it had been a long journey to get to this point. "We are eager to get it up and going. We are aiming for a November opening in time for Christmas,” he said.

He took pride in knowing the whole build would be completed by local tradespeople.

"When the fire happened the community was there for me. I even had people bring me sandwiches - and it's important to remember this.”

Mr Bryne said once open, the new pharmacy would bring more jobs to town with double the staff. It will also have extended trading hours and more to offer its customers.

However, it will no longer be known as Church Pharmacy. Instead, the site will become a major chemist franchise, the name of which Mr Byrne wants to keep under wraps until everything is finalised.

The franchise is well-known in Sydney with 40-50 stores and has just begun its northern ascent into Queensland.

Ms Steele said there were hopes to enter the build into next year's Wide Bay building awards.



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