John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

$3.65m library to be city focal point

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Good progress has been made building Greerton's new library despite the recent rain. Photo/John Borren
Good progress has been made building Greerton's new library despite the recent rain. Photo/John Borren

Greerton's new $3.65 million library is on track to open by the middle of this year, promising a new era for the rapidly growing southern end of the city.

Tauranga libraries manager Jill Best said it would be more than double the size of the old library, with the design including a large learning centre and a meeting room.

Tauranga libraries manager Jill Best
Tauranga libraries manager Jill Best

She said the 960sq m library, opening on to the shopping centre's village green, would become a community hub rather than just a place to borrow books. "We are signalling a change in use."

Ms Best explained that the side-by-side learning centre and meeting room would open up to become part of the library during the day, but could be closed off from the rest of the building at night so each could be used by the community. Access was through separate doors.

The meeting room could be sealed off during the day for community use but not the learning centre.

Early interest in using the learning centre has included volunteers running IT classes.

How the completed library will look from the same Greerton Rd perspective.
How the completed library will look from the same Greerton Rd perspective.

"There are spaces for learning and innovation, it is not just about books any more."

Funding of the new library has been assisted by the sale of the council-owned site next door that held the Greerton Plunket Rooms.

The size of the learning centre and meeting space was expanded by 60sq m thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Lottery Grants Board.

The stock capacity of the new library will increase by nearly 30 per cent to a total of 55,000 books and other publications. Greerton's temporary library is on Cameron Rd, a few metres down from the Chadwick Rd roundabout.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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