Progress underway for Ashburton Library and Civic Centre

Last week, the Council confirmed the future Ashburton Library and Civic Centre that will service our district for the next 50-plus years, and it was through a combined community effort that this milestone was achieved.

Councillors approved a joint facility with enough space to meet the community’s needs for years to come and that will utilise energy efficiency features.

This decision provides a clear path forward for work to progress on delivering this asset for our community, and it’s very pleasing to now be at this stage of the project.

The budget of $51.6 million was arrived at with great consideration for the features our community will need, what residents told us through the consultation process and from the expert advice we received from the Project Manager, Architect and wider design team.

While the Council’s preferred option was for a $45 million facility (Option One) that would meet our needs, this was not the most favoured option for residents in the consultation.

The majority of support was for a $53 million facility (Option Two), followed by Option One. Some feedback asked for a combination of elements from these two options.

It became apparent that many residents were focused on ensuring that the building is fit for purpose, with a strong emphasis on building for the future: “Build it once and build it right” was a common theme.

With this in mind, we prepared a report outlining the cost and potential consequences of including or not including particular elements in the facility. This report was presented to Councillors, and on Thursday 9 May, the decision was made for a hybrid version of Options One and Two.

The new Ashburton Library and Civic Centre will see a dynamic shift from the library features we currently provide, from a book-centric space, to one that encourages modern learning and embraces technology. It is envisaged that it will have space for a children’s discovery centre, teen space, lounge and study areas, and a collections display area.

The facility will have the larger library space that was proposed in Option Two of 2,450 square metres, with room for tiered seating to accommodate relatively small performance activities such as book readings and recitals.

The Council has also set aside a provision in the budget of $3 million for environmentally sustainable design elements. These will be subject to Council approval on a cost-benefit analysis of each feature.

Another consideration was around the standard that the building would be constructed to. It was decided that the Civil Defence Emergency Operations Centre would be constructed to Importance Level (IL) 4 standards, and the remainder of the building to IL3 standards (100 per cent of the building code).

From here, the Council will begin work on the facility’s detailed designs. We’ll continue to provide updates so that you can stay up-to-date with this significant project.​

Page reviewed: 15 May 2019 9:00am