Library Renovation

Questions and answers

Library expansion project

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Questions and answers on the library expansion project

Why is an out of town contractor doing the construction?

As part of Council’s role of being fiscally responsible, contracts are awarded by qualifying contractors into the role, like a job interview.
Our procurement process looks at several key factors when evaluating contractors applications (bids). Local impact,price and experience are all assessed and given a weighting on the overall bid.
Watts and Hughes were awarded the contract for the upgrade construction. Although they're based out of town, they're using local subcontractors to do up to 85% of the work.

Will parking still be available at Bright Street library car park?

After construction, there'll be some parks available at the library car park for mobility customers and families. 

The closest carpark is on Bright Street behind Farmers.

What's happening to the green space by the library?

A number of native trees known to have grown in this area in pre-European times including kowhai, ti kouka and low growing flax indigenous to the Gisborne area will be planted.

A special pohutukawa tree, grown from stock from the Williams family tree project will be planted in honour of the building’s namesake. It will have its root system contained for an urban environment.

Outdoor spaces include 2 pocket parks around the new entrance, and a green strip along the north side of the building expansion leading into Treble Court. Seating, artwork, landscaped trees and gardens will provide a nice space to relax. Seats like those along the Oneroa cycle and walkway will be located in front of the library. 

The sculpture of Murray Ball’s Wal and Dog characters will be installed near the edge of the park as a nod to the animated series Footrot Flats that was written just over the hills to the north of the site. It's currently on show at Marina Park and is already a hotspot for photograph with one of the nation’s most loved cartoon friends.

Is there access to Treble Court from Bright Street during construction?

The only access to Treble Court is via the footpath around the car park beside McDonalds, adjacent to Nolans.

Currently the access from the library is fenced off, this will be reinstated once the building work is completed.

Is the stained glass window staying in the library?

Yes. The stained glass window was supported by the Williams Family and is much loved by library visitors. It will be moved to face north to take better advantage of light streaming through the coloured glass.

Why upgrade the library?

There have been plans to extend the HB Williams Memorial Library dating back to 1976. This was revisited again in 2008 when a survey of library users showed that the current library facilities were too cramped.
The library upgrade officially became a major project in 2013 after a consultation period with the public drew a large number of submissions in favour of a council project.
The library is the most visited community Council facility with over 200,000 visitors a year. In our customer satisfaction surveys it’s often rated as council’s top facility.

Why spend money on a library?

Most of the budget for the library upgrade has come from the generous contributions
of external funders. Of the total $6.8m budget, Council’s contribution is $1.75m.

The Williams family chose and acquired the land and met the cost of the new building. The land was designated ‘for library purposes’ and included what became the library car park and Library Park. The intention was that an extension of the building into the unused land would occur by 1975. The building itself is a stunning example of modernist design that's stood the test of time, and built with quality materials.

The Williams family is proud of this contribution to our district and have continued to support the expansion with a million dollar gift. Funders include:
JN Williams Memorial Trust
Eastland Community Trust
Eastern and Central Community Trust
Bequests from Stanley Green, Hannah Dunlop and Jessie Iris Jeffreys and contribution from Council.
An upgraded library will provide modern learning spaces and future ready facilities that will always be available for the people of Gisborne district.

What new features come with the expansion?

Multi-purpose community rooms
Youth zone and lounge
Outside courtyard area for reading,literacy programmes and relaxing
A combined floor space of over 2000m2
Single and group study areas
Pocket parks with art and seating
Computer learning hubs
Research Centre
Earthquake strengthening

Will the new carpark and narrow walkway be safe?

The project team have approached a consultant to do a study of the area.  Using the influence of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CDTED) they have developed a lighting plan and assessed the landscaping to reduce opportunities for crime. See the full CPTED Review Document [PDF, 1.3 MB]