25 Jul 2016

An early morning sod turning ceremony has been held to mark the start of work on Bishopdale’s new library and community centre.

The new centre is being built in Bishopdale Mall, on the site of the former Bishopdale Crèche, by Hawkins Construction South Island Ltd. It will have a library, large community hall and a meeting room all on one level, joined together by an atrium.

Work gets under way on site today and is expected to be completed by mid 2017.

Bishopdale has been without a permanent library and community centre since a detailed engineering evaluation in November 2011 showed the seismic capacity of the 1970s building that housed the two facilities was four per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS).

The building was deemed uneconomic to repair and after an exhaustive site selection process the Fendalton-Waimairi Community Board decided a new facility should be built on the crèche site.

The crèche site was considered the most suitable for the replacement community centre and library because of its accessibility, cost effectiveness and size. The site of the closed community centre and library was considered but it was not preferred as it was not large enough to house an 800 square metre single-storey facility.

Stufkens + Chambers Architects designed the new centre. The library includes a 330-square-metre collection space and can also open out to a deck. The adjacent meeting spaces can be booked by community groups and will also be available after hours when the library is closed. The large hall opens to a decks and accesses the kitchen.

A temporary library will continue to operate in Bishopdale Mall until construction on the new centre is complete.

* Pictured above right: Fendalton-Waimairi Community Board Chairwoman Val Carter turns the first sod on the site of the new Bishopdale Library and Community Centre.