Good news for library project, detailed designs eagerly awaited

EDITORIAL

After much debate on the earthquake standards needed for its existing and new administration buildings, Gisborne District Council would be relieved to get some good news on that subject in respect of its H.B. Williams Memorial Library extension project.

Before today’s Future Tairawhiti committee was a staff report on the library project that included the result of a detailed seismic assessment of the building, carried out by consultants Opus.

The intricacies of New Zealand’s earthquake building regulations with their IL (importance level) ratings remains a little arcane to many of us but the upshot of this assessment is that the existing building is confirmed to be 69 percent of IL2 new building standards, which means it does not need to be strengthened.

The council was anticipating having to spend $275,000 on strengthening work. The recommendation of the library project advisory group not to go ahead with that seems to be a classic no-brainer.

Looking at the broader picture, there is a strong desire in the community to see the library extension, which bounced around for years on the council’s projects, finally go ahead.

The next stage is the preparation of detailed designs by Chow Hill architects — which also won the administration building design work — which will come before the council in June, while a tender for the project is scheduled to be approved in August.

It is worth remembering that generous contributions from the community have made this project possible, with the council having to contribute only $1.7m towards the total cost of $5.5m.

There has been generous bequest funding of $1.8m — including $1.2m from the estate of Stanley Green which the council has been sitting on for years, the Williams family continues its long-term support with $1m and the Eastland Community Trust provided $860,000.

The way seems clear now for a new library that will be able to cope with the demands of technology change and enhance the centre of the city.

After much debate on the earthquake standards needed for its existing and new administration buildings, Gisborne District Council would be relieved to get some good news on that subject in respect of its H.B. Williams Memorial Library extension project.

Before today’s Future Tairawhiti committee was a staff report on the library project that included the result of a detailed seismic assessment of the building, carried out by consultants Opus.

The intricacies of New Zealand’s earthquake building regulations with their IL (importance level) ratings remains a little arcane to many of us but the upshot of this assessment is that the existing building is confirmed to be 69 percent of IL2 new building standards, which means it does not need to be strengthened.

The council was anticipating having to spend $275,000 on strengthening work. The recommendation of the library project advisory group not to go ahead with that seems to be a classic no-brainer.

Looking at the broader picture, there is a strong desire in the community to see the library extension, which bounced around for years on the council’s projects, finally go ahead.

The next stage is the preparation of detailed designs by Chow Hill architects — which also won the administration building design work — which will come before the council in June, while a tender for the project is scheduled to be approved in August.

It is worth remembering that generous contributions from the community have made this project possible, with the council having to contribute only $1.7m towards the total cost of $5.5m.

There has been generous bequest funding of $1.8m — including $1.2m from the estate of Stanley Green which the council has been sitting on for years, the Williams family continues its long-term support with $1m and the Eastland Community Trust provided $860,000.

The way seems clear now for a new library that will be able to cope with the demands of technology change and enhance the centre of the city.

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