The Future of Wellington Central Library
Wellington’s Central Library building has been an integral part of the city’s landscape and civic heart for the last 30 years. The Kaikōura earthquakes caused significant damage to a large number of buildings in the Wellington region with precast concrete flooring systems. In March 2019, the Council closed the Central Library building to the public and staff for these reasons and Property Council recently submitted on the future of the building as part of the Council's consultation.
Property Council recommended that when deciding on the future of the Central Library the Wellington City Council should prioritise the following principles; making the building safe and resilient, limiting the cost to ratepayers, future-proofing the service to include a wider range of facilities, providing opportunities for partnership with the commercial sector and rethinking the wider purpose of Civic Square.
We believe the best way of achieving these principles is by demolishing the existing building and building a new library (option D or E). If the Central Library is granted heritage status, then mid-level remediation (option B) would be the most value for money to ratepayers while achieving many of the principles above. We recommend the Council does further work and allows ratepayers to have another opportunity for consultation on the preferred option alongside the Long-Term Plan consultation process before determining the future of the Central Library.