Multi-million-dollar library a winner
A modern library with one foot in the past and one in the future is on the cards for Feilding, though officials can’t set a completion date because of the construction industry’s unpredictability.
The Manawatu¯ District Council has committed $5.5 million over the next three years for the redevelopment of the town library, which includes seismic strengthening, construction and furnishing costs.
Mat Bayliss, community facilities manager for the council, said a monthslong consultation process confirmed the Feilding public was keen on a facility that was a ‘‘centre for knowledge’’, rather than just library.
The draft design includes a traditional physical library collection and computer suite. It also has a dedicated creative space kitted out with 3D printers and sewing machines, indoor and outdoor places for children, a space for socialising, cultural and heritage zones, and a cafe.
‘‘Book space remains the same. There’s no reduction in the amount,’’ Bayliss said.
The library was sorted into quiet or loud areas. This was to deal with the natural friction between older and younger library users.
‘‘The current library doesn’t have good acoustics. Even small noises are amplified. This will solve that.’’
Although the council had begun the preliminary design phase and hoped to have the final design and costings ready by the end of the year, when construction began or was completed was ‘‘at the mercy of contractors’’.
Also affecting the completion date for the new library was whether the council would fully shut the service, saving time and money, or if the redevelopment happened in parts.
Bayliss said the design followed the trend of libraries around New Zealand becoming multi-use.
Last year, the Horowhenua District Council upgraded the library in Levin, Te Takere, to include a free space for local businesses to book.
The Rangitı¯kei District Council opened community centre, Te Matapihi in Bulls. It is a library, information site, and youth and general meeting space.