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Grand opening of Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library

Grand opening of Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre


After nearly six years, the Bishopdale community’s library and community centre have a permanent home – with Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre opening on Saturday 22 July.

Located on the former crèche site at 13 Bishopdale Court, the new 800 square metre, single-storey building combines a library and community hall.

“We had to close the previous facility at very short notice in November 2011, after it was found to have a seismic capacity well below the New Building Standard,” explains Carolyn Robertson, Head of Libraries and Information with Christchurch City Council.

“The library and community centre had been an important part of the Bishopdale community since 1976, and we quickly set about establishing a temporary library in Bishopdale Mall, and finding the perfect location for a new facility.

“This was our chance to create a purpose-built facility that meets all our modern needs, and the result is beautiful,” Ms Robertson says. “Ōrauwhata, with its spaces for people to meet, learn, create, collaborate and try new things, is well and truly tailor-made for the community.

The facility includes a hall and a meeting room that can be booked by community groups. The library includes a 330 square metre collection space and opens out on to decks.

Ōrauwhata means ‘the place of the multitude of eels’. This name reflects the area before it was planted and developed by the Bishop family in the 19th century, when it held whata (eels) in water basins formed during flooding by frequent overflow from the Waimairi River.

“With Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre opening in August, and the new Central Library set to open in mid-2018, we’re getting closer to having a full array of libraries back after the earthquakes – new, improved and designed to meet people's current and future needs,” Ms Robertson says.

“The reactions from people around the city at seeing their local libraries repaired and rebuilt over the last six years have been truly rewarding, and we’re sure it will be no different when Ōrauwhata opens its doors on Saturday.”

WHAT: Opening of Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre

WHEN: 9.30am, Saturday 22 July 2017
Library open from 10am

WHERE: 13 Bishopdale Court, Bishopdale Mall

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