Thursday 21 September 2017
Work on earthquake strengthening of Hamilton’s Central Library will proceed following a decision by Hamilton City Council today.
The Council voted 10-1 in favour of a $635,200 project which will see work undertaken in back-of-house areas, to bring the building’s New Build Standard (NBS) rating up to 34 per cent, and allow the library to reopen.
The library was closed in November 2016 due to concerns about its ability to withstand a seismic event. A particular concern was an area of the building around a stairwell, in a staff-only area. The Council’s senior managers were not prepared to keep the building open when its NBS rating was 15 per cent. A “pop-up” library has operated in the Council’s Municipal Building Reception Lounge as an interim measure.
Rebecca Whitehead, Hamilton City Libraries Director, says work required to repair the building has been scoped and tender documentation has been prepared.
“Now we have the green light from the Council, we can go out to tender, find contractors who can do the job, and arrange for the work to begin,” Mrs Whitehead says.
Put simply, the repair to the Central Library will see floor sections of the building strapped together using super-strong carbon fibre strips. The repair method has been recommended by engineering experts.
The repairs will take about eight months, and timelines will be confirmed once a contractor has been confirmed.
Mrs Whitehead says libraries staff have been appreciative of the support from customers and understood the frustration the Central Library closure has caused.
“Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘quick fix’ for our library. It will remain closed for several more months while the repairs are done, so we do need further patience from our customers for a while longer.”
Once work is underway, the public will be updated on the project through the Hamilton City Libraries’ Facebook page.