Work starts on new library

UP AND AWAY: The first walls of the Birkenhead library are in place.UP AND AWAY: The first walls of the Birkenhead library are in place.

After a number of unanticipated delays, construction of the Birkenhead library is well under way.

Precast panels for the walls of the first floor have been lifted into place by crane, giving residents an insight into the dimensions of the long-awaited development.

Behind the scenes the library’s furniture has also been completed and technological details are being looked at.

The project is a week behind schedule after huge amounts of rock and rubble were found when excavating, causing developers to have to dig deeper, Birkenhead library project manager Sharron Cleghorn says.

A land slip at the edge of the reserve also contributed to the unexpected seven-day delay because the ground had to be stabilised before it could hold a crane, Ms Cleghorn says.

Council community services and parks committee chairman Tony Holman is disappointed that the project has not been brought back up to schedule.

“We’ve had a very long stretch of fine, dry weather,” he says.

“I really do hope that it can be made up.”

He was surprised that such delays were not accounted for in planning as the project has already long been in the pipeline.

“It’s quite ironic really, we’ve been without if for all this time and I think it will be ready in time to hand over to the new Auckland city,” he says.

But he still maintains that the library and social services complex will do well to meet the needs of the community.

Ms Cleghorn says there are always unexpected incidents associated with projects of this size but the complex is still expected to be complete by late December or early 2010.

But these delays are nothing compared with what the project has gone through in the past.

There have been lengthy delays since demolition of the old library began in 2005, with independent commissioners initially declining resource consent for the new library to be built on Nell Fisher Reserve.

Credits

Written by: MICHELLE LOTTER
Photo/s by: BEN WATSON
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

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