Central Library: Additional Information, Updated Recommendations Online
Media are advised that additional information, incorporating a number of updated recommendations for the Central Library building, is now available on the Council’s website and will be considered at a Wellington City Council meeting this Wednesday 3 June.
In the updated recommendations worked on by Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow and her team since last week’s decision to postpone the debate, one proposal is to spend $2 million to fast-track design options. It is recommended that this additional capital expenditure be included in the 2020-21 Annual Plan to advance design on the library building in order to speed up decision-making and the implementation of an agreed solution.
It is also proposed that that $1.1 million of operational expenditure already allocated in the Annual Plan for Te Ngākau Civic Precinct design and consultancy will be used in part to produce designs for the library building and improved connections with Civic Square.
The updated recommendations propose an ‘expedited’ decision-making process including consideration of community views and other legal requirements under the Local Government Act. The process would allow for a preferred solution to be determined later in the year with funding to be incorporated in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan.
The Central Library has been closed to the public since March 2019. It is not earthquake-damaged, however other buildings of similar construction were badly damaged in the Seddon and Kaikoura quakes. The library was re-assessed after a change to the Government’s seismic performance assessment criteria guidelines for buildings. A decision was made to close the building, including the public car park and the footpath around the library, due to potential risk to the thousands of people who used the building every day.