New library almost a done deal
It is "not categorically a done deal yet" but Christchurch city councillor Jamie Gough claims he has secured the extra money needed to build Bishopdale a new library and community centre.
Gough says during a recent council workshop to discuss how to prioritise the repair and rebuild of quake-damaged community facilities, councillors agreed they would put an extra $2.8 million into the project.
"This is good news for us, and Bishopdale," Gough said in an email to the Fendalton-Waimairi Community Board.
The board had asked for the additional money because it was unhappy about spending $1.2m on repairing the existing 1970s facility, which it said no longer met the community's needs and only had a short life-span, when there was an opportunity to get a slightly smaller, but brand new library and community centre built in its place.
Gough said the proposed library and community centre would be cheaper to run than the existing facility and it would also breathe new life into the Bishopdale Mall, which was in dire need of investment.
He said the money for the project was being ring-fenced but that did not mean other funding avenues or joint-venture opportunities would not be explored.
"I have made it clear that if creative partnership options or the like arise, then we would most certainly not want to preclude them." A formal report still needed to be presented to the council, Gough said.
Council facilities rebuild manager Darren Moses confirmed a report was being drafted, which would include recommendations for funding for the repair and rebuild of several community facilities. It was due to be presented to the council at the end of August.
"It is at this point that any funding for the rebuild of Bishopdale Library and Community Centre will be confirmed if councillors agree the facility should be rebuilt," Moses said.
Demolition is due to start today on the quake-damaged Heathcote Valley Community Library in Martindales Rd. The council has decided to demolish it and the nearby Heathcote Community Centre and use the insurance proceeds, totalling $807,000, to build a combined facility on a site yet to be determined.