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Council To Debate Fixing Or Building A New Central Library

Next Wednesday, Wellington City Council will vote on whether to strengthen or build a new Central Library for the city.

Council papers have been published which will support the debate at next week’s Council meeting on Wednesday 28 October starting at 9.30am. The Council paper includes:

  • 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)
  • additional advice or information regarding the building’s heritage status, and service level design.

Council is recommending Option C to be incorporated in the draft Long-Term Plan (LTP) as the preferred option for the future of the Central Library. This will enable the public to share their views on the preferred option with the updated information from the Council report, alongside other priorities for the city through the LTP consultation process.

In the meantime, officers will continue work on the design and service level brief, including engaging with stakeholders. The results of this work will be presented to Councillors in March 2021 for approval.

“Wellingtonians are split between strengthening or demolishing our much-missed Central Library building, with cost and risk highlighted as a key concern which was not surprising,” says Mayor Andy Foster. “This concern is shared by Council as we face multiple priorities for the city, alongside the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“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,” adds the Mayor.

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 the 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.”

You can read the Council paper here: https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/meetings/committees/strategy-and-policy-committee/2020/10/28

The meeting will be livestreamed on the Council’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/WgtnCC or media and the public are welcome to attend in person at Level 16, 113 The Terrace, Wellington.


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