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More thought needed over library upgrade plans

August 14th, 2012

Community Board chairman David Ogilvie is calling for "essential and urgent" consultation of residents by the council over plans to upgrade the Motueka Library, including where it should be located.

In his report to the August meeting of the community board today, David raises fundamental questions about the location, size and funding of the library, which is scheduled for upgrading or replacement in the 2013-14 year.

Concept plans based on a budget of $1.1 million for the existing site reportedly have been developed but are not being released publicly at present. To meet the National Library and Information Association standards, it is required to double the existing Library floor space by 617m2.

Tasman District Council appointed Don Robertson as Project Manager, and Jerram Tocker Barron in conjunction with Warren and Mahony have been appointed to undertake the architectural and estimating services for concept planning.

David reports that for the Motueka community there are a series of questions:-

  • Should the existing Library be extended, or a new one built?
  • Is the current site the most appropriate site for a Library?
  • What other sites are available, such as High Street, Decks Reserve or Hickmott Place?
  • Is the allocated funding of $1.1 million sufficient?

"The existing library has had four extensions since the District Council was formed in 1989," David wrote. "In recent years, Richmond ($2 million) and Takaka ($1 million) have had new libraries. Each is a modern, spacious and attractive facility. They have been funded from the General rate, as will the Motueka Library, to bring it to the required standard and serve the Motueka’s district population approaching 19,000 by the year 2030.

"The current site has a pleasant park outlook and is away from the commercial and traffic activity of High Street. Its proximity to Parklands School, close to the Museum and Memorial Hall are advantageous. It is, however, situated on leasehold land and carparking is a problem.

"To obtain the extra floor area it may be necessary to purchase the adjacent buildings (Senior Citizens Rooms, Laura Ingram Kindergarten) or remove the mature trees nearby, unless a second storey is added.

"In recent years, relocation to a site in High Street has been considered, or possibly to develop jointly a Library with the Council offices in Hickmott Place. Another option has been to combine the Library with the Information Centre and perhaps new Council offices on Deck’s Reserve.

"Moreover, the $1.1 million budget is probably not sufficient. This figure establishes $1,783 per square metre for construction, which is very low ($1.1 million divided by 617m2 extra floor space). Additional are the significant costs for earthquake protection, access issues, car parking as well as the fit-out of the interior.

"These are major and serious concerns which have not been canvassed locally. Engagement with the Motueka community, as well as the Community Board, is essential and urgent. This is an important strategic decision for the people of Motueka. The libraries in Takaka and Richmond are beautiful buildings and serve their residents well. Motueka needs and deserves the same."


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