What is Waitohi?
Waitohi is the new Johnsonville community hub which will include a new and larger library; an on-site café; the Whānau Manaaki Kindergarten; and it will connect to Keith Spry Pool, Johnsonville Community Centre and through to Memorial Park.
How big will Waitohi be?
The hub will be approximately 3 times the size of the current Johnsonville library!
Where did the name Waitohi come from?
What is the new ‘makerspace’?
A makerspace is a collaborative workspace dedicated to creativity, learning and innovation. There will be all sorts of activities available, from low tech (such as sewing and papercrafts) to high tech (such as robotics and coding).
Will the current library be closed during the transition to the new library?
Yes, for a period of up to two weeks. We are hoping to minimise the disruption and inconvenience, and during the closure we encourage the Johnsonville community to use the libraries in Khandallah, Ngaio or Tawa.
Why is a new library necessary?
Johnsonville and the northern suburbs are experiencing immense population growth. A larger library is necessary to cater for the 10,000 more people expected to live in Johnsonville in the next 20 years.
How big will the café be?
The cafe will have approximately 50 seats indoors and potentially more in the outdoor area.
What’s happening with the café? Who is running it?
Wellington City Council went out to tender in March to find a great café operator to partner with. A very competitive process was run from March to July with a total of 13 expressions of interest received to operate the café. In August 2019, it was announced that Jim Huy, who managed Clark’s Café in the Central Library building for 10 years before it closed in March, will operate the new Waitohi café when it opens to the public this summer. The new cafe will open for business on 14 December 2019 at 8am.
Where will the café be located?
The new cafe will be located on the upper ground level and located next to the courtyard on the western edge of the upper ground level with an outlook towards to Memorial Park, and with direct access to courtyard, link space and the library
Why are you demolishing the kindy building?
The kindy is currently housed in an old building that has had numerous alterations over the years and is not fit for purpose.
We need the land for the construction of the Waitohi building and surroundings, and will be demolishing the building as some of the floor slab is on concrete and some is on piles, so it not feasible to relocate the building.The building will be demolished once the kindergarten moves into a purpose-built space in Waitohi in August.
How are you ensuring the area surrounding the work site is safe to the public?
We have two site access gates to the site area for all vehicular traffic including the delivery of all construction materials, cranes and skips on Moorefield Road. A full-time guard will be in place for the duration of the construction project to prevent unauthorised entry to the site and to coordinate all deliveries, including acting as a spotter during deliveries.
We have measures in place to minimise and manage dust and noise.
Why is the construction taking so long?
It’s been a complicated site to build on. The building is a triangle shape on a sloping site – we had to do significant ground work before we could pour the foundations and concrete slabs. That’s why that initial part took so long.
Once we’ve completed the structural build, there is a lot of work to do on the interior. This includes the library, café, a new reception for the pool, and the kindergarten fitout. There is also landscaping for the new outdoor area we are creating.
When is Waitohi opening?
When did construction begin?
What is the overall project budget?
Will the community centre be closed during construction?
Keith Spry Pool
Why is part of the Keith Spry Pool blocked off?
We are building a new reception for Keith Spry Pool and creating an entrance at the southern end of the pool which will connect to the internal walkway and library.
Hoardings have been put up to separate the works from the pool operations, and to keep it safe for pool users. Because of the construction, the spa and sauna are not available to use. During the closure, we will take the opportunity to upgrade the spa and sauna facilities at Keith Spry Pool.
Parking and Traffic
How are you managing parking issues around the construction site?
Special parking zones have been set up in surrounding streets during the construction period. These areas have a 180-minute time limit to ensure ease of access and flexibility for users of the existing pool and community centre.The current parking arrangements that informally allow for the pick-up and drop-off of children catching buses in the area will remain throughout construction. There are additional 15-minute parking areas on Wanaka Street.
Will there be more parking when Waitohi opens?
Yes there will be, as there will be increased demand on parking when Waitohi opens. We have already consulted with the public on our proposed solutions for additional parking, and are finalising the options based on the feedback we received.
How are you managing traffic issues around the construction site?
We’ve had a traffic management professional working alongside us from the start of the project, and traffic has improved now the Greater Wellington Council work on Wanaka Street and Moorefield Road (for the bus hubs) has been completed.
The goal is to minimise traffic issues for the public, but we also have to make sure Southbase Construction can easily and safely get materials delivered to the site.