Napier library to move while council considers best options for earthquake prone civic buildings

A mock-up of a proposal to convert Napier's library into Napier City Council's civic headquarters.
NAPIER CITY COUNCIL

A mock-up of a proposal to convert Napier's library into Napier City Council's civic headquarters.

Napier's library is on the move, while the council works out the best way to deal with earthquake prone civic buildings. 

From January the library will be temporarily run out of the Museum Theatre Gallery (MTG) on Hastings St, after a report earlier this year found the current library was at 15 per cent of the new building code at its weakest point, while the adjoining civic buildings are at 10 per cent.

On Wednesday the Napier City Council also announced a statement of proposal would seek formal approval from the council to sell half of the site taken up by the civic building and the library, confirming plans floated in March.

The Napier library building, owned by Napier City Council. The council is considering moving into this building, and ...
SIMON HENDERY/STUFF

The Napier library building, owned by Napier City Council. The council is considering moving into this building, and selling off the rest of the civic site.

Chief executive Wayne Jack said the council and the library were on a large site, straddling two buildings, when the council and the library could fit into one. 

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The council needed to decide if it would renovate or rebuild using the two buildings, or just one - which was half the site. 

The rest of the site could be developed, with a motel or hotel the most attractive option. Public consultation on the proposal will open on October 4. A decision should be made by December, city strategy director Richard Munneke said. 

The library would be where archives were currently stored at the MTG, with archives moved to off-site storage.

The council had started developing a library strategy to figure out the best way to create a new library, either in a new location, or back at its original site once it had been strengthened, director of community services Antoinette Campbell said.

Six hundred people used the library a day, and while it was in the MTG  there was the potential to waive entry fees 

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Munneke said options for a new library site included Civic Square, the Vautier St car park, the Ocean Boulevard/car parking building, and its current site. 

In the meantime the council is on the move, with the mayor and chief executives heading to the Cape View building. A customer service counter will be set up in Dunvegan House, and corporate support will live at the old post office building on the corner of Dickens and Hastings St. 

All teams are expected to be in their temporary accommodation by Christmas, and will stay split across the three buildings for three to five years.

 - Stuff

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