Christchurch City Councillors have supported a recommendation to rebuild the city’s earthquake-damaged South Library and Service Centre, at a cost of $32.75 million.
Located at 66 Colombo Street in Beckenham, the popular community library and service centre will be rebuilt on its current riverside site, following the recommendation from the Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere-Heathcote Community Board .
The concept design has been developed with input from the community and a wide range of other stakeholders, and is based on the same floor area as the current facility, Council said in a statement. It provides for the same services – library, customer services, learning centre, café, governance spaces and meeting rooms – with improved layout, functionality and the potential to adapt to changing community needs over time.
Council Head of Community Support and Partnerships, John Filsell says the decision to rebuild is the fastest, most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly option.
“The building was damaged quite badly in the 2011 earthquakes, and since then the Council has made it safe with temporary strengthening while we focused on getting other urgent library and service centre projects up and running, such as Tūranga,” he said.
“While the building has been safe to occupy, it’s started to experience a number of issues with things like heating and weathertightness. Today’s decision signals the Council’s ongoing commitment to work with communities, while carefully making the most out of valuable resources, to deliver a first-class, sustainable and future-focused facility.”
Construction should take about 20 months, with the library and service centre to remain open as normal until the current building is demolished. Staff are currently looking at options for temporarily relocating library and customer services while construction is underway.
The Council currently has $22.6 million of funding put aside for the South Library and Service Centre building, and says it will need to confirm extra funding for the project as part of next year’s Long Term Plan 2024–2034 process.