The “jewel in the crown” of Christchurch’s library network is on track, on budget and starting to take shape on the edge of Cathedral Square.
The new Central Library is due to open in mid-2018, with the scale of the building becoming clear as the build progresses.
Christchurch City Council Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson said people walking passed the site could now get a good visual fix on how the library would look.
“If you haven’t wandered into Cathedral Square for a while, then prepare yourself for a shock. The library is really starting to take shape, and you can begin to visualise the impressive scale of the building, particularly the first floor, which will be home to the 200-seat TSB community arena and the family and community spaces.
“Over the next few months we’ll see the remainder of the steel structure put in place, along with all the remaining floor slabs, which will support the Community, Identity, Discovery and Creativity levels of the Library. Internally, the installation of the building’s super-efficient Green Star-rated services – such as power, water and heating – will get under way, and the internal walls and the main atrium staircase will start to take shape.”
Ms Robertson said towards the end of the year a new Central Library leadership team would come on board, appointing staff and developing programmes and services that would bring life back to the city centre.
“We’ll be developing an exciting fit-out, including cutting edge technology-driven experiences, interactive play, and facilities that will support learning and discovery in a multitude of ways."
The Council is currently seeking proposals from businesses interested in operating the Library's planned ground-floor café and first-floor espresso bar.
"Our library network is expanding and we are so proud of what we have to offer Christchurch residents as our earthquake rebuilds come to fruition. Last month we opened Ōrauwhata: Bishopdale Library and Community Centre, located in Bishopdale Mall, and last week we opened the doors of Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre.
"The design of Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre incorporates natural timber and draws inspiration from the local landscape, the colours of the seaside and architectural features from the demolished Sumner Community Centre and Museum – which had, until 2011, stood on the very same site, along with the old Sumner Library. Those services have now found a new home under the same roof as the library, in a 1300 square metre building that’s already a pillar of the community."