Wellington Central Library: to strengthen or demolish, split decisions

Wellington Central Library: to strengthen or demolish, split decisions

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The Wellington City Council will be voting on whether to strengthen or build a new Central Library for the city on the coming Wednesday (October 28).

The Wednesday debate starts at 9:30 am, and includes the officers’ advice to remediate the building to the highest level, Option C — the results from the public consultation and engagement — the progressed indicative designs for strengthening the current building to a low (Option A), medium (Option B) and high resilience (Option C) level — revised costs for all options, including new builds (Options D and E) or any additional advice or information regarding the building’s heritage status, and service level design.

The Council is currently recommending that Option C is to be incorporated in the Long-Term draft Plan as the favoured option for the future of the Central Library. The public will then be able to share their ideas and have a say.

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Work will continue on the design and service level brief, including engaging with any stakeholders involved, the results will then be presented to Councillors in March 2021 for approval.

Mayor Andy Foster of Wellington City says that the thought of strengthening or demolishing the Central Library building, with the costs and risks, is a concern that many Wellingtonians are split on.

“The robust additional design work has provided more certainty we can deliver a modern library service at a significantly reduced cost. Although Option D and C are both popular, the timeframe for Option C would see us open the doors on a modern, central library sooner – which is something we can all agree on,” said Mayor Andy Foster.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Portfolio Leader Libraries, says: “What was not surprising from the results is nearly everyone agreed Wellington needs a Central Library service.

“I know how much it is missed. It is a treasured place in our city, providing everyone with opportunities to read, relax, connect, be inspired or learn.

“While many loved the Central Library, they also acknowledge there are opportunities to make space better. This is our chance to set up a resilient modern Central Library service that will serve many future generations – and in the quickest time available.”

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