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Birkenhead Library back on track

Birkenhead Library back on track

Initial designs are being done for the new Birkenhead Library and Civic Centre on Nell Fisher Reserve, which it is hoped will be built by late 2009.

The new library has 250sqm more floor space than the old, and will also include Plunket, Citizens Advice Bureau, Birkenhead Area Office, community board meeting space and the community co-ordinator’s office.

However, as a result of a delay in the process, initial estimates of the cost of building the library have gone up. The original budget set in 2004-2005 was $7.3m, and is now estimated to be $9.5m.

North Shore City Community Services and Parks Committee chairman, Tony Holman, says the additional cost is a real concern.

“Construction costs have gone up so much since the original plan, but we’ll have to find the extra money,” he says.

“The additional cost won’t be carried by ratepayers though - we are currently looking at re-allocating funding from other projects.”

“The most important thing is getting the library and civic centre built as soon as possible for the people of Birkenhead to use,” says Mr Holman.

“There have been significant social and economic impacts without this key facility at Highbury,” he says.

A governance and advisory group including councillors and community board members has also been set up. It will keep an overview of the project and may make recommendations to the community services and parks committee.

ENDS

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