Future of the Central Library consultation

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Consultation has concluded

Future of the Central Library Consultation

Latest news - 19 September 2021

We are carefully packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui - Wellington Central Library. Behind the hoardings, the experienced Crown Relocations team has begun the eight-week process of moving the historic fittings into storage for the next four years. This involves carefully removing, labelling, itemising, and wrapping the fixtures, following the guidance of our heritage expert.

They will also upcycle or recycle standard office furniture, or library equipment that is not going into storage or being used elsewhere within Council.

When - They will work during the working week (Monday to Saturday) and expect to finish by November, unless we experience a delay, such as an increase in Alert levels.

How - Crown Relocation are working to lessen any noise for the neighbouring residents and businesses as much as they can by using the basement to move items out of the library. So please be aware of trucks entering and leaving the basement entrance on Harris Street.

What's next - Over the coming four years we’ll be strengthening and modernising Te Matapihi. This includes installing base isolators; expanding levels three and four; designing spaces for our Libraries, City Archive, Council Service Centre, and Capital E to bring back Wellington’s much-loved community living room to the CBD.

Over the coming months we share regular updates on how the design for Te Matapihi is progressing through our Wellington City Libraries and Council newsletters, social media and websites. So sign up for the latest news at www.wellington.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-information or follow the news.

15 April 2021
On Thursday 15 April 2021 the proposed design and service principles to guide the operating and service development model for the refurbished Central Library were presented to the Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee Council for adoption. The Committee was also presented with options for developing the building’s upper floors and sustainability.

The design principles were developed through early engagement with Mana Whenua, key stakeholders, and potential partners, and our library teams. They also align to the draft design principles for Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

At the meeting the Committee agreed to:

  • the design principles outlined below:
  • Engage fully with Mana Whenua. This included an amendment to use the Library’s te reo name “Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui” from now on.
  • Design for the visitor:
    1. "whole of population" inclusion: traditional, new and future users
    2. facilitating access to knowledge and knowledge services
    3. anchoring social infrastructure in the city.
  • Harness the power of partnership:
    1. through an integrated (not just co-located) service from Libraries, City Archive and Council Service Centre
    2. as the home of Capital E.
  • Design a visitor experience that is modern, fit for the future, and Wellington:
    1. a spatially flexible, accessible, modern environment speaking strongly of Wellington
    2. a hub of creative, civic, and humanities activities and a visitor attraction in its own right
    3. designed to evolve in response to ongoing digital and population change.
  • extend levels 3 and 4 of Te Matapihi as outlined in the report. The estimated cost of $8.5m would require additional funding in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan and add an estimated three months work to the construction programme.
  • progress sustainability initiatives within the design of the building, with the objective of obtaining a 5 Green Star rating. This is estimated to require additional Long-term Plan funding of $1.9m.

Following an oral submission by Claire Mabey of Verb Wellington, and Juliet Blyth of ReadNZ, who spoke on behalf of Te Ha, ReadNZ, Booksellers, Publisher’s Association and Verb Wellington, the Mayor put forward an amendment for officers to work with partners to investigate creating a dedicated space for a Literary Hub within the building, which was also adopted. You can read the minutes of the meeting on the Council webpage.

The options to extend levels three and four will now be included in the next phase of the design process which is currently underway. We will share more information on the process in the coming months.

Update 28 October 2020 - Council decision on future on the Central Library

On Wednesday 28 October 2020 Council debated on whether to strengthen (Option C) or build a new (Option D) Central Library for the city. The Council adopted Option C to remediate the current building to the highest level of resilience.

Council recommended Option C to remediate the building to the highest level, based on information gained from the public consultation process and the progression of the design and engineering work. This built on the information available at the time the Statement of Proposal was published.

The cost of Option D is now similar to Option C. Option C will also deliver the elements which were important to supporters of Option D, such as ability to deliver a future proofed library service, mitigate climate change and improved sustainability.

Council also recommended Option C to be incorporated in the draft Long-Term Plan (LTP) which was adopted on 28 October 2020. This allows the officers to continue working on the design and service level brief, including engaging with stakeholders. The results will be presented to Councillors in March 2021 for approval. This also provides the public another opportunity to consider the project alongside the Council’s financial position and other priorities for our city, including Three Waters and Let’s Get Wellington Moving.”

The LTP consultation will begin in March 2021 and will describe Option C in more detail, alongside updated information for all the other options which were considered.

In June 2021 the Council will consider the consultation results and make the final decision on the project to be included in the final LTP.

You can read the paper (included in the Council meeting agenda) on the Council website. The meeting was also livestreamed on the Council’s YouTube page.

Below you can read the revised reports from the external engineers, architects and quantity surveyors which have been published on the Wellington City Council website. They are also available as links on the right-hand side of this web page.

Note: The changed information in the above reports is shown in red text, and information that is no longer relevant has been struck through.

Background
The Central Library has been our city’s living room and a vital part of our vibrant inner city for decades. The building itself isn’t safe to use. There are several ways to make it safe for people to be in, which also brings new possibilities in using the space. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set up the central library to continue to support Wellington's diverse communities for at least the next 50 years.

We developed a Statement of Proposal (SOP) outlining the issues with the building, the practicable options available and the factors they were assessed against .

What options were proposed?
The Statement of Proposal outlined five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

The Statement of Proposal also included options which were discarded, with the reasons why. The public was able to provide their views on these five options, or provide their own ideas, or say if they preferred an option which was not put forward.

Why does the proposal suggest modernising the library?
While the priority is on re-establishing a Central Library, we also are responsible for ensuring the new service can meet the needs of Wellington’s future generations. While providing access to books and other physical and digital collections will continue to be a core service, we can also offer people access new technologies, spaces and services which support life-long learning, connection and community.

How were the five proposed options decided and others discarded?
Each of the options were assessed against a range of factors. They included the building's resilience and safety; how it could support a modern library service over the next 50 or more years; the costs and timeframes; how it connects and enlivens Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and how it may affect the environment.

Why did we close the Central Library?
New guidelines for concrete buildings, which were developed by the engineering community and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found the Central Library structure and floor system design posed a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake, and met 15-20 percent of the National Building Standard. On that basis, the Council’s Chief Executive closed the building to the public on 19 March 2019.


Latest news - 19 September 2021

We are carefully packing up Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui - Wellington Central Library. Behind the hoardings, the experienced Crown Relocations team has begun the eight-week process of moving the historic fittings into storage for the next four years. This involves carefully removing, labelling, itemising, and wrapping the fixtures, following the guidance of our heritage expert.

They will also upcycle or recycle standard office furniture, or library equipment that is not going into storage or being used elsewhere within Council.

When - They will work during the working week (Monday to Saturday) and expect to finish by November, unless we experience a delay, such as an increase in Alert levels.

How - Crown Relocation are working to lessen any noise for the neighbouring residents and businesses as much as they can by using the basement to move items out of the library. So please be aware of trucks entering and leaving the basement entrance on Harris Street.

What's next - Over the coming four years we’ll be strengthening and modernising Te Matapihi. This includes installing base isolators; expanding levels three and four; designing spaces for our Libraries, City Archive, Council Service Centre, and Capital E to bring back Wellington’s much-loved community living room to the CBD.

Over the coming months we share regular updates on how the design for Te Matapihi is progressing through our Wellington City Libraries and Council newsletters, social media and websites. So sign up for the latest news at www.wellington.govt.nz/news-and-events/news-and-information or follow the news.

15 April 2021
On Thursday 15 April 2021 the proposed design and service principles to guide the operating and service development model for the refurbished Central Library were presented to the Council’s Strategy and Policy Committee Council for adoption. The Committee was also presented with options for developing the building’s upper floors and sustainability.

The design principles were developed through early engagement with Mana Whenua, key stakeholders, and potential partners, and our library teams. They also align to the draft design principles for Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

At the meeting the Committee agreed to:

  • the design principles outlined below:
  • Engage fully with Mana Whenua. This included an amendment to use the Library’s te reo name “Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui” from now on.
  • Design for the visitor:
    1. "whole of population" inclusion: traditional, new and future users
    2. facilitating access to knowledge and knowledge services
    3. anchoring social infrastructure in the city.
  • Harness the power of partnership:
    1. through an integrated (not just co-located) service from Libraries, City Archive and Council Service Centre
    2. as the home of Capital E.
  • Design a visitor experience that is modern, fit for the future, and Wellington:
    1. a spatially flexible, accessible, modern environment speaking strongly of Wellington
    2. a hub of creative, civic, and humanities activities and a visitor attraction in its own right
    3. designed to evolve in response to ongoing digital and population change.
  • extend levels 3 and 4 of Te Matapihi as outlined in the report. The estimated cost of $8.5m would require additional funding in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan and add an estimated three months work to the construction programme.
  • progress sustainability initiatives within the design of the building, with the objective of obtaining a 5 Green Star rating. This is estimated to require additional Long-term Plan funding of $1.9m.

Following an oral submission by Claire Mabey of Verb Wellington, and Juliet Blyth of ReadNZ, who spoke on behalf of Te Ha, ReadNZ, Booksellers, Publisher’s Association and Verb Wellington, the Mayor put forward an amendment for officers to work with partners to investigate creating a dedicated space for a Literary Hub within the building, which was also adopted. You can read the minutes of the meeting on the Council webpage.

The options to extend levels three and four will now be included in the next phase of the design process which is currently underway. We will share more information on the process in the coming months.

Update 28 October 2020 - Council decision on future on the Central Library

On Wednesday 28 October 2020 Council debated on whether to strengthen (Option C) or build a new (Option D) Central Library for the city. The Council adopted Option C to remediate the current building to the highest level of resilience.

Council recommended Option C to remediate the building to the highest level, based on information gained from the public consultation process and the progression of the design and engineering work. This built on the information available at the time the Statement of Proposal was published.

The cost of Option D is now similar to Option C. Option C will also deliver the elements which were important to supporters of Option D, such as ability to deliver a future proofed library service, mitigate climate change and improved sustainability.

Council also recommended Option C to be incorporated in the draft Long-Term Plan (LTP) which was adopted on 28 October 2020. This allows the officers to continue working on the design and service level brief, including engaging with stakeholders. The results will be presented to Councillors in March 2021 for approval. This also provides the public another opportunity to consider the project alongside the Council’s financial position and other priorities for our city, including Three Waters and Let’s Get Wellington Moving.”

The LTP consultation will begin in March 2021 and will describe Option C in more detail, alongside updated information for all the other options which were considered.

In June 2021 the Council will consider the consultation results and make the final decision on the project to be included in the final LTP.

You can read the paper (included in the Council meeting agenda) on the Council website. The meeting was also livestreamed on the Council’s YouTube page.

Below you can read the revised reports from the external engineers, architects and quantity surveyors which have been published on the Wellington City Council website. They are also available as links on the right-hand side of this web page.

Note: The changed information in the above reports is shown in red text, and information that is no longer relevant has been struck through.

Background
The Central Library has been our city’s living room and a vital part of our vibrant inner city for decades. The building itself isn’t safe to use. There are several ways to make it safe for people to be in, which also brings new possibilities in using the space. This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set up the central library to continue to support Wellington's diverse communities for at least the next 50 years.

We developed a Statement of Proposal (SOP) outlining the issues with the building, the practicable options available and the factors they were assessed against .

What options were proposed?
The Statement of Proposal outlined five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

The Statement of Proposal also included options which were discarded, with the reasons why. The public was able to provide their views on these five options, or provide their own ideas, or say if they preferred an option which was not put forward.

Why does the proposal suggest modernising the library?
While the priority is on re-establishing a Central Library, we also are responsible for ensuring the new service can meet the needs of Wellington’s future generations. While providing access to books and other physical and digital collections will continue to be a core service, we can also offer people access new technologies, spaces and services which support life-long learning, connection and community.

How were the five proposed options decided and others discarded?
Each of the options were assessed against a range of factors. They included the building's resilience and safety; how it could support a modern library service over the next 50 or more years; the costs and timeframes; how it connects and enlivens Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and how it may affect the environment.

Why did we close the Central Library?
New guidelines for concrete buildings, which were developed by the engineering community and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) found the Central Library structure and floor system design posed a high level of potential failure in a significant earthquake, and met 15-20 percent of the National Building Standard. On that basis, the Council’s Chief Executive closed the building to the public on 19 March 2019.


Consultation has concluded
  • Consultation closed, 5pm, Monday 7 September

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    Thank you to the over 1456 people and organisations who took the time to make a submission on the future of the Central Library. Submissions closed at 5pm, Monday 7 September.

    We have contacted everyone who asked to provide an Oral Submission, and these will be heard by Council on Tuesday 22 September. You can read the meeting agenda and submission on the Council website.

    The results from this consultation process, and the updated cost estimates will be provided in a Council paper, will then be presented to Council on Thursday 22 October 2020.

    If you have any questions about your submission or the oral hearing, please email centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz .

  • Watch the Central Library speakers event webinars!

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    We were fortunate to have a range of engaging speakers discuss the role of a Central Library; the potential opportunities for creating stronger spaces, connections and meaning for people who use them and the engineering challenges with the current building. You can watch videos of the three webinars on the video library on the right hand side of this webiste, or using the links below:

    "Who loves our libraries? with guest speakers: MC - Mayor Andy Foster; Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington; Ella Flavell, Chair Youth Council and Sandra McCallum, General Manager Changemakers

    Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5aTw0eAjAQ&feature=youtu.be

    "Spaces for everyone" with guest speakers: MC - Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons; Anne Goulding, Professor of Information Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington; Chris Hay, Manager Tūranga Library & Chair-elect Public Libraries New Zealand and Juliet Blyth, Chief Executive Read NZ

    Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRpfNe5hFHM&feature=youtu.be

    "Why the Central Library closed and restoring the service to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct" with guest speaker Tony Holden, Associate, Senior Structural Engineer Aurecon and Peter Brennan, Manager Property, Wellington City Council.

    Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DB5GDosfC8

    Don't forget! Submissions close, 5pm, Monday 5 September!
    Thank you to everyone who has made a submission on the future of the Central Library. If you haven’t had the chance to yet – it’s not too late! You can make your submission by:

    The Statement of Proposal outlines the options; how they were assessed and others which were discarded.

    You can pick one of the five proposed options, or provide your own idea, or say if you prefer an option which was not put forward.

    If you have any questions you can use the “Ask a question” section towards the bottom of this website or email centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz



  • Sign up for the Central Library consultation webinars

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    Thank you to everyone who have already shared their views on the future of the Central Library service. We are eager to hear from more Wellingtonians before consultation closes at 5pm, Monday 7 September! So spread the word!

    To share your views:

    You can provide your views on five options proposed in the Statement of Proposal, or provide your own idea, or say if you prefer an option which was not put forward.

    Speaker events have moved online under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.
    Sign up to join the exciting discussions with experts across the literacy, learning, arts, community and engineering sectors on how library spaces, programming and events can play a key role in influencing how people engage and connect with one another and the library’s collections.

    1. Who loves our libraries? - 6pm – 7pm, Friday 28 August
    Join the discussions with speakers from different community or sector areas, on how the Central Library supported people and communities, and the potential opportunities for creating stronger spaces, connections and meaning for everyone.

    Speakers: Claire Mabey, Verb Wellington; Ella Flavell, Chair Youth Council; Sandra McCallum, General Manager Changemakers
    Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8802363946198864656

    2. Spaces for everyone - 6pm – 7pm, Monday 31 August

    Join the discussions with library, literature and research experts reimagining how the Central Library building, collections and spaces could reflect the past and create new spaces for everyone.

    Speakers: Anne Goulding, Professor of Information Services Management, Victoria University of Wellington; Chris Hay, Manager Tūranga Library & Chair-elect Public Libraries New Zealand; Juliet Blyth, Chief Executive Read NZ
    Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6748343184596616462

    3. Why the Central Library closed and restoring the service to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct - 12pm – 1pm, Wednesday 2 September
    The Central Library building itself isn’t safe to use. Hear about what closed the building and what is involved in making the building safe again for everyone to use.

    Speakers: Tony Holden, Associate, Senior Structural Engineer Aurecon with Peter Brennan, Manager Property, Wellington City Council
    Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6520247298401358608

    We are continuing to visit the CBD and suburbs with the Planning for Growth team information kiosk over the coming week – find out when at: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library/widgets/302558/key_dates#132595

  • Listen to us on Access Radio!

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    Listen to Fiona MacGregor and Lucy Lang discuss the proposed options for the future of the Central Library on Access Radio's News Adlib show.

    Fiona and Lucy discuss why the building was closed; the options for the future service and answer some common questions. The show is around 30 minutes long, with some great kiwi tunes in between. You can listen to the show at Access Radio's News Adlib show.

    As well as being a regular presenter on News Adlib, Fiona is the team leader for Wellington City Libraries online and social media channels. Lucy is the Manager Future Library who has been busy designing and opening the three interim CBD branches - Arapaki Manners Library and Service Centre, He Matapihi Molesworth Library and Te Awe Library at 29 Brandon Street - and is part of the project team for the Central Library.

  • Postponed events

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    Kia ora,

    Due to the government's announcement that Wellington will moving to Alert level 2 under the nationwide Covid-19 response, we will be postponing some of our community consultation events over the coming week. This is because under Alert level 2 we need to limit the number of people who can visit our library branches at any one time.

    Please check our website to stay up-to-date with any further changes. We will also let you know if we can set up new times to be in your suburb or run sessions online.

    As at 9am, Wednesday 12 August the following events have been deferred:

    • 10am- 2pm, Wednesday 12 August outside the Kilbrinie Library at 247 Kaori Road
    • 10am-2pm, Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 August at Kilbirnie Library, 247 Kaori Road
    • 10am- 2pm, Wednesday 12 August, The Hub, Victoria University, Kelburn
    • 5.30pm – 7.00pm, Wednesday 12 August, Te Awe Library, 29 Brandon Street
    • 12pm – 1:30pm, Thursday 13 August, Te Awe Library, 29 Brandon Street
    • 5:30pm – 7pm, Thursday 13 August, Ruth Gotlieb Library, 101 Kilbirnie Street
    • 2 – 4pm, Friday 14 August and 10am – 2pm, Saturday 15 August at the Tawa Main Street Plaza
    • 10am – 2pm, Thursday 18 and 19 Wednesday August at Post Office Square in the CBD.

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • Share your views on the Future of the Central Library

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    MEDIA RELEASE - Monday 27 July 2020

    Today marks the start of a six-week public consultation to gather Wellingtonians’ views on restoring the Central Library service in the heart of the city.

    “We know how frustrating the closure of the Central Library building is, which is why we sped up the decision-making as quickly as the Local Government Act allowed us to,” says Mayor Andy Foster. “We are looking forward to hearing Wellingtonians views and we also want to bring life back to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.”

    “The building itself is deemed unsafe for people to be in, and there are several ways to remedy this, which also creates new possibilities in how we create the space to meet the changing needs of our growing modern city.”

    “The Central Library has been treasured by generations of Wellingtonians as a special place in the heart of our city,” said Libraries Portfolio holder Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons.

    “I encourage all Wellingtonians, young and old to have a say about the future of the Library. We need to hear your questions, your views and your aspirations for our Central Library so we can make a good decision that will be well supported by residents.”

    “The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a Central Library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct,” says Councillor Iona Pannett, Portfolio Leader for Resilient Buildings. “Three remediate the existing building to a low, mid, or high level and two more suggest building a new library on either the existing site or another site within Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

    “It also discusses other options which have been discarded, as they were not practicable. We are keen to understand what options you prefer, and the factors behind your decision, or whether you prefer another option.”

    Sign up at https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/central-library to stay-up-to-date with the latest news, find out when events are happening near you and read the Statement of Proposal on the Future of Central Library Consultation. Paper copies of both documents will be available at all library branches from Monday 27 July.

    Everyone is invited to complete a submission form between Monday 27 July and 5pm, Monday 7 September.

    The public are also welcome to make their submission in person to the Strategy and Policy Committee on Wednesday 22 September. To do this, select this option in your submission form.


  • Option A – Low-level remediation

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    Under this option the structural issues of highest concern are addressed so the building is safe to re-open. The building is likely to be damaged and need repair after a significant earthquake. The construction work would remove much of the internal fit-out and this would need to be replaced resulting in the building interior being refreshed. The Central Library would look largely the same as it did before it closed.

    Key elements of this option are:
    Structural remediation: Minor interior refresh:
    • Addresses immediate life safety issues: achieves approximately 40% NBS
    • New internal walls, ceilings and floor coverings
    • Achieves low level of building resilience
    • Improved layout, upgraded fixtures and fittings.
    • Installs additional supports for floors and central stairs

    • Improves fixings which support the external panels that clad the building


    • Minor strengthening of the building frame.


    Advantages Disadvantages
    • Building is retained and immediate life safety issues addressed
    • 40% NBS rating (approximately)
    • Library service restored within shortest timeframe
    • Low level of building resilience
    • Lowest cost of all the options
    • High likelihood of building being closed again (and a new interim library service needed) due to either substantial (and potentially unrepairable) damage following a significant earthquake or more strengthening work due to significant risk the building would be classified earthquake prone if building regulations are revised in the future. Risk of unbudgeted costs.
    • Some sustainability improvements due to upgraded building services
    • No or limited improvement to accessibility and connection to the wider Te Ngākau Civic Precinct
    • Some minor improvements to library service
    • Lack of resilience puts heritage at risk of loss

    • No mitigation for climate change risks

    • Minimal opportunities for partnerships


    At a glance
    Cost
    $76.3m-$90.8m

    Increase for Average Residential Ratepayer each of 35 years of building life


    $38.70-$46.30 pa
    Indicative opening date
    November 2023
  • Option B – Mid-level remediation

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    Under this option the building would be strengthened to approximately 80% NBS. It addresses the structural issues of highest concern and increases the building’s ability to withstand a significant earthquake. It would increase the likelihood the building could be re-occupied safely after an earthquake; however, the building is likely to still sustain damage during a significant earthquake. More intrusive construction work is needed so more of the current fit-out would need to be removed and replaced, resulting in a higher level of interior refresh, which in turn provides an opportunity for some library service enhancements. It includes the possibility for improved accessibility and connections to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and Harris Street.


    Key elements of this option are:


    Structural remediation: Significant interior refresh:
    • Addresses immediate life safety issues: achieves approximately 80% NBS

    • In addition to the minor interior refresh in low-level

      remediation, this option would also provide the opportunity to improve the accessibility to the building

    • Achieves mid-level of building resilience

    • In addition to the low-level remediation elements this option also stiffens the walls and adds bracing to cushion the impact of an earthquake


    Advantages Disadvantages
    • Building is retained and immediate life safety issues are addressed
    • Building still has a reasonable likelihood of being damaged and closed in a significant earthquake, disrupting service (risking heritage features and unbudgeted costs).
    • Higher NBS rating of approximately 80%
    • Relatively high cost to achieve only moderate level of building resilience
    • Likelihood of future building closures following an earthquake is reduced
    • Risk of heritage loss in significant earthquake
    • Possibility for improved accessibility and connections to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct
    • Takes longer to re-open library than low-level remediation option
    • Potential for some library service improvements and for some opportunities for partnerships
    • Some risk of closure due to more strengthening requirements from future changes in building regulations.
    • Some improvement to sustainability due to upgraded building services and nominal increase in buildings life expectancy.
    • No climate change mitigation


    At a glance
    Cost $131.2m - $151.8m

    Increase for Average Residential Ratepayer each of 42 years of building life

    $57.30-$67.60 pa
    Indicative opening date
    September 2024


    Early Concept image – Glazed North Façade, terraced flooring, and integration with streetscape.

    Image: Athfield Architects Limited

  • Option C – High-level remediation (preferred option)

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    This option is preferred as it delivers the safest and most resilient solution for the Central Library building. This means that further closures due to earthquake damage or additional strengthening won’t be required. Although the initial strengthening work is expensive it removes future costs arising due to earthquake damage or strengthening requirements (if building regulations change). It also increases the building’s life expectancy more than the other remediation options. This option delivers service continuity for the Central Library service, future proofs our ability to deliver an adaptable modern library service and explore partnerships. It also allows us to mitigate some climate change impacts in the future. The building’s heritage will be retained, and it will integrate more with Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and the surrounding streets through additional entrances, views, landscaping and improved accessibility.

    Under this option the building’s structural issues would be mitigated to the highest extent possible. It includes work from the low and mid-range remediation options, plus it base isolates the building. Base isolation would mean the building would likely be safe to occupy during and after a significant earthquake, meaning it is most likely to be open afterwards. This option involves the most intrusive construction work and therefore creates the opportunity to fully upgrade the building and immediate surrounds, including connections to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and Harris Street, and modernise how it works as a library, community and public space for the long term.

    Key elements of this option are:
    Structural remediation: Significant refresh and remodel:
    • Address immediate life safety issues: achieves an NBS in excess of 100%

    In addition to the minor and significant interior refresh, it creates the potential for –

    • Achieves high level of building resilience
    • major layout reconfiguration of collections, facilities and activity spaces
    • In addition to the low and mid-level remediation elements, installs a base isolation system
    • opportunity to deliver new and enhanced services

    • new shared spaces for community and civic activities

    • stronger connections to Te Ngākau Civic

      Precinct and the surrounding areas.


    • Improved accessibility


    At a glance
    Cost $174.4m - $199.8m

    Increase for Average Residential Ratepayer each of 50 years of building life


    $74.30-$86.20pa
    Indicative opening date May 2025


    Advantages Disadvantages
    • Building is retained
    • Highest cost of remediation options
    • Achieves highest level of life safety with an NBS rating in excess of 100%
    • Longest timeframe of remediation options to re-open the Central library building
    • High level of building resilience with minimal risk of future building closures from earthquakes or changes to building regulations
    • Base isolation requires use of some basement space
    • Most likely to preserve the building’s heritage elements

    • Opportunity to fully modernise the library service spaces and facilities

    • Building remodel would provide significant improved accessibility, activation and connection to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct

    • Best ability to mitigate the effects of sea level rise for existing library building

    • Significant opportunities for partnerships

    • Improved sustainability outcomes due to upgraded building services, increased life expectancy of the building and elements in the fit out


    Building features study - Important edges and corners that create Precinct connections and operational improvements.

    Image: Athfield Architects Limited





    Early Concept Image – Floor plan reorganised to engage more

    directly with Civic Square. Image: Athfield Architects Limited









  • Option D – New build on same site

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    This option would involve demolishing the existing building to put a new one on the same site. The new building would be designed to the highest level of seismic safety and resilience ensuring peoples safety and full service continuity after an earthquake. A new build provides the greatest opportunity to design the space as a library and community space for the long term.

    Key elements of this option are:

    • High level of seismic safety and resilience
    • Designed to incorporate best practice sustainability and accessibility standards and respond to long-term climate change concerns
    • Opportunity to create different connections to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct and surrounding areas
    • Opportunity to reimagine and design a multipurpose Central Library and civic and community facility for current and future users.
    At a glance
    Cost
    $156.5m - $160.7m

    Increase for Average Residential Ratepayer each of 64 years of building life

    $50.60-$52.60pa
    Indicative opening date November 2025


    Advantages Disadvantages
    • High resilience means minimal risk of future building closures
    • Does not retain the existing building and would need to resolve the heritage status of precinct in the future building and the potential future heritage scheduling by Heritage New Zealand (may also impact on timeframe)
    • Opportunity to fully optimise the design to meet future library service requirements
    • Negative impact on sustainability objectives due to demolition
    • Could be built to high sustainability standards
    • New build options have the longest timeframes to the library re-opening
    • Lower cost than high-level remediation option

    • Designed to address and mitigate future climate change impacts

    • Opportunity to align with best practice accessibility standards

    • Significant opportunities for partnerships

    • New and enhanced connections to Te Ngākau Civic Precinct


    The new build estimates do not include base isolation as the desired level of building resilience can be achieved in a new build without it. However if the decision was made to base isolate a new building the additional cost would not be significant.

    The cost estimates for the new build option do include estimated demolition and removal costs.

    Above: Young adults collection at Johnsonville Library in Waitohi

    Photograph: Matt Paterson

    Above image: Photography exhibition by John B Turner, at Johnsonville Library in Waitohi

    Photograph: Matt Paterson