Multi-million-dollar upgrade starts soon at Ōrewa Library

Publish Date : 29 Apr 2024
Multi-million-dollar upgrade starts soon at Ōrewa Library
Artist impression of the new exterior for Ōrewa Library.
Multi-million-dollar upgrade starts soon at Ōrewa Library 1
Artist impression of the new interior for Ōrewa Library.
Multi-million-dollar upgrade starts soon at Ōrewa Library 2
Artist impression of the new interior for Ōrewa Library.

A $5.5 million extensive upgrade for Ōrewa Library will address maintenance needs and visitor numbers that have increased to more than 235,000 a year.

Located in Ōrewa Town Centre, Hibiscus and Bays Local Board approved the solution to increase the building’s functionality by reconfiguring the existing footprint and adding a mezzanine floor to create additional space, and address the leaking old, curved roof, that will be replaced with a new mono pitch roof.

The library will close for about 15 months during the extensive upgrade, which is expected to begin in June, and a temporary mini library will be set up nearby at the Ōrewa Community Centre.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Deputy Chair Gary Brown says the multi-million-dollar upgrade is essential and will be well worth the wait, with plans in place to reduce the impact the closure will have.

“We know that the library is a popular hub for our community and that closing it will be inconvenient to all.

“The ever-increasing demand on library services with visitor numbers topping 235,000, our area’s growing population, along with the building’s maintenance requirements, this upgrade needs to happen.

“The upgraded library is going to be amazing and has significant improvements for everyone. The downstairs area won’t be cramped and cluttered anymore. It will have better sightlines and be more open. There will be more spaces to relax and a new lift to the mezzanine floor.

“All credit to library staff who are doing everything they can to reduce the impact on the community as much as possible.

The comprehensive upgrade uses the building’s existing footprint and includes:

  • freeing up space downstairs by moving some collections upstairs to create new and relaxing spaces.

  • a large children’s library downstairs with room for collections and programmes.

  • a lift that meets accessibility requirements and has access to the mezzanine floor.

  • an open downstairs area with better sightlines, lower shelves and better spacing of fixtures and fittings.

  • a new mezzanine floor with flexible space for study, programmes, meetings, and can be adapted easily for different requirements.

  • an improved interior layout, better sightlines, safe room, and controlled access to staff areas.

Library staff have plans in place to keep a mini-library and council service running while renovations are underway. All services will operate from the small hall at the recently renovated Ōrewa Community Centre while the large hall will be available for community use.

Head of Community Delivery (North/West) Rachael Rivera says library staff are grateful for the community’s support and patience while upgrade is underway, and the library is closed temporarily.

“We have been planning this for several months and doing everything we can to reduce its impact. Staff will be on hand to help people access the services available at the mini library.

“Ultimately the extensive upgrade is going to transform our amazing library and enhance the space. It’s going to look great and improve what we can provide to our community.” says Rivera.

The project timeline is still being finalised with the construction contracts expected to be let shortly, followed by the library relocation and construction expected to start in June.

View the detailed design for the library renewal project in the agenda report at (item 11).

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