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March 24, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Wellington Central Library closed indefinitely

The Wellington Central Library has closed its doors for an undetermined period of time, as of Tuesday, 19 March 8.30 p.m. The public carpark will also be closed.

Wellington City Council CEO Kevin Lavery deemed it necessary to close the library due to earthquake safety concerns. The decision was made in consultation with Mayor Justin Lester and Councillors.

“It is one of the city’s busiest buildings with 3,000 visitors a day… the safety of our residents is paramount,” Lavery stated.

Engineers advised the closure of the library in order to strengthen the frame of the building.

Their report stated that there were similarities between the vulnerabilities of the library’s precast floors as those of the Statistics New Zealand Building that was damaged in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

“We will be making every effort to ensure the library services will be back in action as we know how crucial they are to the city and how disruptive this will be”, Lavery said.

The Central Library could not give an indication of cost from closure and reconstruction work at this time. Their employees will continue to be paid.

Additionally, no estimate could be provided regarding how long the reconstruction would take.

“Now that we have the engineer’s report we are starting to investigate options and make some decisions about what approach to take to repair the building.”

Due to students’ dependence on the resources found at the Central Library, further decisions will be made with their patrons in mind.

“We recommend students contact the Victoria University library services team to assist in sourcing specific academic resources for their study needs”, the Library said.

VUW libraries are aware of the changes. University librarian, Janet Fletcher, told Salient, “We will be working with WCL to provide support where required.”  

There is no set date for the Central Library’s reopening. For now, the “living room of the city” will remain closed.


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