AFTER several years of planning, consultation and strong public opposition, the layout for the refurbishment of the Invercargill Public Library has now been decided.
At an Invercargill City Council (ICC) meeting on Tuesday, councillors decided in a split vote to approve option five, which involved removing the walls on the ground floor separating the children’s and adults libraries to create a large open space, with the children’s section remaining in its present street-front location.
An alternative contentious design the council had considered involved relocating the children’s section to the north-west corner of the ground floor. Magazines, newspapers and the biographies section will now be located in that corner.
The cost of option five was estimated to be $975,000.
The council’s decision to approve option five was welcomed by those opposed to moving the children’s section.
“I am very very happy because it is the very best decision we could have had,” Southland identity, story-teller and former children’s librarian Liz Miller said.
Former librarian Heather Kelly was also pleased.
“The main issue most of the public was concerned about has been addressed and I am delighted.”
Although library staff had supported the option which involved relocating the children’s section, library manager Marianne Foster said she was pleased a decision had been made and the redevelopment could now go ahead.
“It was a compromise decision… and shows we are listening to people.
“We can definitely make it work.”
Ms Foster thanked her staff for their patience throughout the process.
ICC building assets manager Paul Horner said work on the project was expected to start in July and take about 12 weeks to complete.
“Now we have got certainty, that is just great. That is just what we needed.”