Pandemic delays library upgrade

The Southland District Council’s Winton Library project is delayed due to issues with material supply and the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Supplied
Concept 3-D plans for the new Southland District Council’s office and library in Winton. Image: Supplied

SUPPLY chain disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic has caused months of delays to Winton’s revamped library.

The Southland District Council closed its Winton office and library in May 2020 after mould spores were discovered at the site.

While work was under way to remove the toxic mould, council staff investigated ways to bring the building back up to a safe and usable standard, as well as identify how it could be adapted to better serve the community.

An upgrade of the facility was approved by councillors and was expected to be completed by the end of last year.

However, council senior project manager Wayne Ramsay said the pandemic had disrupted the delivery of building materials.

For that reason, the upgrade was now expected to be completed by March and staff would begin setting up in April.

The delays had also increased the cost of the project.

In 2020, the council set aside $1.3 million for the project, but that had increased by about $200,000.

Mr Ramsay said the new building would enhance the experience of the community.

Included in the upgrade was a new heating system and wool carpet which would provide a more stable, comfortable interior environment for the library’s collection, staff and public.

Another highlight was that the building had been strengthened to 100% of national
building standards, Mr Ramsay said.

The temporary library and office would continue to operate from the Winton RSA Hall until the opening of the new building.