Ex­tra $3m needed for north­ern li­brary

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page - LAURA DOONEY

A new li­brary for John­sonville looks set to cost the Welling­ton City Coun­cil an­other $3.2mil­lion, on top of the $19m al­ready bud­geted for the project.

Coun­cil­lors will con­sider whether to sign off for the ex­tra money at a city strat­egy com­mit­tee meet­ing on Thurs­day. The money would be ear­marked to come out of the 2018/19 long-term plan.

It would cover the fit-out for the cafe in­side the li­brary, pub­lic toi­lets nearby, re­lo­cat­ing the pool en­trance of the Keith Spry pool, land­scap­ing in the area, and a cov­ered walk­way to the John­sonville Com­mu­nity cen­tre.

North­ern ward coun­cil­lor Jill Day said it was im­por­tant to add the fin­ish­ing touches to the area, and things like land­scap­ing were im­por­tant.

As the li­brary was go­ing to be open for longer hours, Day was not sure a pub­lic toi­let would be needed as well, al­though the re­port said it would leave the town cen­tre with­out 24-hour toi­lets.

Some work was more im­por­tant, so it would be a mat­ter of work­ing out which things coun­cil­lors felt were re­ally needed in the area.

It was pos­si­ble the cafe fit-out could be left to the ten­ant that took over, to save the coun­cil money, and en­sure the ten­ants got the lay­out they wanted.

‘‘There’s not end­less funds so we will have to ne­go­ti­ate that one.’’

Fel­low north­ern ward coun­cil­lor Peter Gil­berd agreed the fitout could po­ten­tially be left to the ten­ants, and would have to be con­sid­ered on merit.

He had an open mind when it came to the pub­lic toi­lets.

It was im­por­tant that coun­cil fin­ished the project off prop­erly by do­ing it once, and do­ing it right, and he was de­lighted coun­cil staff were try­ing to do that.

The new li­brary was the best thing that had hap­pened to John­sonville, Gil­berd said.

‘‘It’s just a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity for this sub­urb.’’

The Ath­field Ar­chi­tect de­signed li­brary will be next to the sub­urb’s com­mu­nity cen­tre and Keith Spry Pool on Frankmoore Ave. It will be much big­ger than the ex­ist­ing li­brary, and will pro­vide a mod­ern, flex­i­ble li­brary space.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin this year, and be fin­ished by mid-2018.

In Novem­ber 2015, Welling­ton City Coun­cil re­vealed the de­sign process would be done in three stages, with the com­mu­nity able to pro­vide feed­back af­ter each new set of plans are com­pleted.

‘‘It’s just a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity for this sub­urb’’ Peter Gil­berd Draw­ings of what a state of the art new li­brary in John­sonville might look like, sup­plied in 2015.

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