Waipukurau Library is temporarily closed, following advice from engineers that the building has structural vulnerabilities which mean it may not perform well in the event of a significant earthquake.
Central Hawke’s Bay District Council made the unexpected announcement that the library will remain closed until further notice on Friday 29 May.
“Just like everyone in Central Hawke’s Bay’s community, I am gutted to see the temporary closure of the Waipukurau Library,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay. “Your Councillors are working with Council officers to answer all of your very logical questions of what, when, who, why and where next.
“We understand how important the library is to the wellbeing of our Central Hawke’s Bay community,” said Mayor Walker. “However, we must ensure the safety of customers and Council staff as a priority.
As part of the development of asset management plans for the 2021- 2031 Long Term Plan, Council are taking the time to review the condition of its key assets. This included the completion of a desk top seismic assessment report of the Waipukurau Library. The initial findings of this report triggered Council to request a full detailed seismic assessment report.
“While the completion of this report is still ongoing, physical intrusive inspection of the building by engineers has provided sufficient information to Council, to as a precautionary measure close the Waipukurau Library while we await the completion of the further detailed seismic assessment report,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.
Waipukurau Library was renovated in 2016, with the expectation of both Council and Community that it be earthquake strengthened as part of this.
“The completion of the detailed seismic assessment is required, before Council can comment further on the work completed in 2016 and the exact nature of the current building condition,” says Ms Davidson.
“We are working on a plan to determine a way forward for the building and our library services, to get them back up and running as quickly as possible,” says Mayor Walker.
The Waipawa Library is open 10.00am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday while COVID-19 Level 2 restrictions remain in place. For more information please visit the Library website www.chblibrary.nz.
3 June 2020
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