New library gets the green light

Published date11 August 2022
Publication titleKatikati Advertiser
The library and council service centre will be built in front of the community centre and current library on Beach Rd

It will be connected to the community centre through a covered walkway and the centre’s façade would be upgraded to visually link the buildings.

Western Bay of Plenty District councillors voted on the site at the Performance and Monitoring Committee last Thursday, August 4.

The Beach Rd site was chosen over the other shortlisted option of Te Mata Reserve on Wilson Rd.

This was supported by council staff, the architects and had majority support from the community.

Of the 575 pieces of feedback received through community engagement, 211 were in favour of utilising the current community centre site. There were 107 in favour of using the land behind the community centre and 74 wanting to see the library on Wilson Rd.

Architect Gareth Donald, who worked on the design concepts, said the Wilson Rd site was constrained and the floor area would be limited.

“We feel it is a compromise for all of the parties involved,” said Donald, of Jigsaw Architects.

It was also the most expensive option coming in at $8.6 million.

The Beach Rd site would be $6.8m for the new build and community centre upgrade.

Mayor Garry Webber said it was great the library would be built after being talked about for 12 years.

“This has taken longer than an elephant to gestate and it’s great that we finally got there,” he said.

Webber was concerned people would object to the cost because the original figure talked about was $2.5m.

“That was a placeholder from a long way back and it bears no resemblance to what this is,” he said.

“This is a real step up to what we were talking about 12 years ago.”

Waihī Beach Community Board chairperson Ross Goudie said the board was “very enthusiastic” about the site and always had been.

“We are very willing to work further with whoever, however, to make this the best little library in the Western Bay,” he said.

Councillor Anne Henry said it was “fabulous” the site had been chosen because it was right next to the Waihī...

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