Plans for library overhaul
April 11, 2019
Plans to redevelop Petone Library have provoked mixed reactions from residents who are concerned modernising the building won’t be in keeping with the town’s history.
The 1980s building needed maintenance due to leaks and rotting.
The options for development included repairing the existing building, repairing it with alterations, or building a 54 one and two-bedroom apartment complex above a multi-use space, which included a library.
The apartments would be built by Hutt City Council controlled organisation Urban Plus.
Resident Jonathan Skinner said building the apartment complex would not match the area’s “colonial character. We live in character homes, it’s important to hold on to that.”
Another resident Norman Wilkins said out of all the options, he would like to see the council keep the current library building but maintain it. “It’s attractive and functional but it does need money spent on it for maintenance.”
Petone Community Board chairperson Pam Hanna said she expected people to be unhappy with some of the options. “Britannia St has so many heritage buildings and people will want to maintain that.”
Harbour ward councillor Michael Lulich said schools and librarians should be consulted for feedback. “I think it’s important that we talk to school children who use the library and see what they want to see.”
He said more design options should be pursued as the new building should reflect the area.
Council’s Library and Heritage Services manager Liz Castle said the feedback had been diverse.
“Some love the building and want to retain it, others love the new options. It needs a lot of money spent on it and, right now, it’s about finding the best economic option.”
Castle said the goal was to provide greater community spaces.
Those wanting to make submissions on the proposal could do so at Petone Library or online on the council’s website during April.