Library reopening thrills residents

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012
Christchurch South Library
BACK IN BUSINESS: South Library in Colombo St, Beckenham has reopened after it was closed in July.

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The reopening of the Christchurch South Library has thrilled residents.

The library and Beckenham Service Centre reopened yesterday after temporary repair and strengthening work.

The building was closed in July after an engineering evaluation showed the building had a seismic capacity of between 10 and 20 per cent of the new building standard.

The work included installing steel propping and additional beams and plates to strengthen the building to 34 per cent of the standard, allowing it to operate as it is for another three years.

The city council said investigations into long-term solutions were continuing.

Karen Middlemiss, of Somerfield, said she was a regular visitor to the library and would be "devastated" if it was closed permanently.

"I've been following its progress, waiting and waiting and waiting. I live nearby and it's something I've always been glad to have here," she said.

Peter Willman, 67, said the reopening was "brilliant".

"It's walking distance, which is great for a retired bugger like me."

He said he was too old to worry about feeling unsafe in the library before.

Karen Roberts and daughter Sophie, 9, said the library had been "definitely missed" by their family.

Council libraries and information manager Carolyn Robertson said the library was the most popular in the city before it closed, while the service centre was also one of the busiest.

"It's wonderful to be able to open our doors again just in time for Christmas," she said.

The library is open on week days from 9am to 7pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. The service centre is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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- The Press

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