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.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Please enter your question about the options for the Future of the Central Library Consultation here. We monitor the site from 8:30am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and we aim to respond to you within the next working day. 

You may also want to check the list of FAQs on the right hand side of this web page. 

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    Hi When considering such a huge spend has the council considered this as a stand alone project or had they the foresight to include the curved building to the south east (also apparently deficient earthquake wise). Buildings are generally about floor plate size covering the specific area in the building required for the proposed occupants. It would seem to be short sighted if this hasn't occurred. Pretty similar to the design of the foundations and the driven pies for the Convention Centre which when driven into the ground vibrated the land mass around it something big..........................leading to future possible failure of the service lines in the surrounding streets. So question is how far did the very short feasibility study go?

    DIG asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora, 

    Sorry of the delay in responding.

    The Central Library is one part of the wider Te Ngākau Civic Precinct programme to enhance and enliven the square. Decisions on the Central Library were prioritised as it provides a key service and spaces to the city. However as part of the submission form we are asking for people’s feedback on how the library connects with the wider Precinct which will help inform future work. 

    The Council continues to work with its external insurers with regard to finalising its claim concerning the Civic Administration Building to the right of the library, following significant earthquake damage. For this reason we were unable to include this building as part of the Central Library consultation.

    People were able to submit an option which wasn’t put forward in the Statement of Proposal in your submission. To do this:

     1. Go to the Submission Form

    2. At the question : “There are several different options to deliver a functional Central Library building. Which of these is your preferred option?” tick the option “none of the above, I prefer an alternative”
     3. Select one of the options in the following question, or write down your own idea or suggestion.

    if you have further questions please email centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz and one of the team will get in touch with you. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    I missed the deadline by three hours. I would like to submit a short statement about my feelings on the matter. The email address you give does not seem to work - to whom should I address my statement?

    Mazza asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora Mazza, 

    The email is centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz so please send your submission through. If the link isn't opening  on your browser, then you can copy the address into a blank email. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    Why are the demolition and removal costs not included in the "new build" options, D and E ? They're hardly optional are they ? Given that this is the case what supports that statement "Lower cost than high-level remediation option" under "Advantages" of D and E . Surely WCC either knows these costs, in which case they should be included, or they don't know them in which case making the "Lower cost ..." statement is unsupportable ?

    Richards Shea asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora, 

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

    Please let me know if you need anything else.

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    I would like to know the brief; there must have been one for each option. Who are the consultants and has the cost estimating been peer reviewed. Did any one explore a possible competition basis; if so why wasn't it followed.

    DIG asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora DIG,

    Thank you for your question.

    The three remediation options project costs have been estimated by the Council’s consulting quantity surveyors based on high level concepts prepared by the Council’s consulting engineers. In the case of the two new building options there is no concept design, so accordingly the costs provided are based on industry square metre rates for a reasonable quality building.

    Construction project costs continue to be developed and refined through each of the stages of a project. As a project design matures, the level of assumption and contingency reduces. At the early stage of a project, cost estimates are based on concept designs only, so they contain a lot of assumptions and a very high level of contingency.

    We will know more about the costs as the planning for the project progresses and the designs are more developed. Updated cost estimates will be provided in the Council paper in October. 

    In late May the Council instructed officers to begin consultation with the public in late July on the options available, and provide more detailed designs and costs to consider in October. Due to the tight timeframes it was not possible to carry out a design competition. 

    Please let me know if you need further information. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    Why was registration required, when I was also required to enter the same information on the submission form anyway? (Email, name, where I live, my gender etc). Just seems another barrier to feedback. Also, I didn’t realise there wouldn’t be an open text field as a final question for any other feedback you wanted to give.

    Nonnie Mouse asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora Nonnie, 

    Thank you for making a submission. 

    We ask people to register before filling out the submission form as it helps us ensure the discussions and results are not manipulated by people leaving multiple comments to support their own view. 

    It also helps us to better understand who we are engaging with. 

    Some fields in the registration form are mandatory and we have provided an explanation under each request. 

    If you have further comments please email to centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz(External link) add we can add it to your submission manually. 

    Please get in touch if you need more informaton. 

    Ngā mihi nui, Debbie

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    Why are there not actual costs already put to the public, estimated costs never ring true at out come, so asking for a much more true costing here. This would also help for answering the questions of choice, while establishing a more positive ideal of said choices made.

    heatherlee233@gmail.com asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora, 

    The costs provided for all the options in the Statement of Proposal are expressed as a range which reflects the variations that may occur as the project is developed. For the three remediation options project costs have been estimated by the Council’s consulting quantity surveyors based on high level concepts prepared by the Council’s consulting engineers. In the case of the two new building options there is no concept design, so accordingly the costs provided are based on industry square metre rates for a reasonable quality building.

    Construction project costs continue to be developed and refined through each of the stages of a project. As a project design matures, the level of assumption and contingency reduces. At the early stage of a project, cost estimates are based on concept designs only, so they contain a lot of assumptions and a very high level of contingency.

    We will know more about the costs as the planning for the project progresses and the designs are more developed. Updated cost estimates will be provided in the Council paper in October. 

    Please let me know if you need further information. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    How can I make a submission without having to login or register - can't I just send an email?

    Rachael asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora Rachael, 

    Sorry my earlier responses was incorrect. 

    We ask people to register before filling out the submission form as it helps us ensure the discussions and results are not manipulated by people leaving multiple comments to support their own view. 

    It also helps us to better understand who we are engaging with. 

    Some fields in the registration form are mandatory and we have provided an explanation under each request. You can see the questions on the print version of the Submission form, so if the system doesn't work you can email the answer through to centrallibrarysubmission@wcc.govt.nz 

    Ngā mihi nui, Debbie

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    Can you please provide a copy of the 2013 engineering report referred to in Helene Ritchie's article of 28 August on Wellington Scoop: http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=130613

    James S asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora James, 

    You can read a copy of the report on our website

    The issues identified in the 2013 Detailed Seismic Assessment did not present the same level of life safety concerns identified in the 2019 assessment.  

    Council was planning to address these issues as part of other work relating to buildings in the Civic Precinct, but became aware of the thinking that the engineering community and MBIE were starting to do around precast concrete floor systems.  We thought it would be prudent to better understand what remediation might be required for the precast floors, before we shut the building to undertake these other works. 

    Each of the three remediation options include these works.

    Please let me know if you need anything else. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie

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    How do I submit without having to sign in or register? I can't even see the questions to submit on. Please turn off sign in and register so the public can engage more easily.

    Tom H asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora Tom, 

    Thank you for your question.

    We ask people to register as it helps us ensure the discussions and results are not manipulated by people leaving multiple comments to support their own view. It also helps us to better understand who we are engaging with. Some fields in the registration form are mandatory and we have provided an explanation under each request.

    If you wish to remain anonymous do not use your name as a user name, when registering. 

    You can read all of the questions in the submission form in the Documents Library on the right hand side of the website, which I’ve included the link to. 

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

    The Statement of Proposal outlines five options for retaining a central library service in Te Ngākau Civic Precinct.

    ·Option A - Low-level remediation

    ·Option B - Mid-level remediation

    ·Option C - High-level remediation (preferred option)

    ·Option D - New build on same site

    ·Option E - New build on another Te Ngākau Civic Precinct site

    The Statement of Proposal also includes options which were discarded, with the reasons why.

    Please let me know if you need anything else. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie


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    why do some of the library proposals mention climate change and others do not?

    ana asked over 1 year ago

    Kia ora Ana, 

    Thank you for your question.

    We have included references to climate changes under the “Advantages” and “Disadvantages” sections for each option in the Statement of Proposal. Options A and B provide no climate change mitigation; Option C provides the best ability to mitigate the effects of sea level rise for existing library building; option D and E would be designed to address and mitigate future climate change impacts.

    Please let me know fi you need more information and thank you for making a submission. 

    Ngā mihi, Debbie