New community hub for Katikati after $1.2m boost

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Katikati's main street. Photo/file
Katikati's main street. Photo/file

A multipurpose 'community hub' for Katikati will be built simultaneously with the town's new library and service centre thanks to a $1.2 million funding injection.

Additional funding was secured for the Katikati Library Project this month allowing the 400m2 hub to be included in the final design, scheduled for construction in mid-2016.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council originally planned to build the $2.3m library and service centre on its own - with a community hub added at a later date once funding became available.

The council's group manager customer and community services, Kevin Jefferies, said a $350,000 NZ Lotteries grant for the hub - approved in February on the condition it was built with the library - offered the chance to reconsider funding options and bring the build forward.

Council and the Katikati Community Board have agreed to fund the remainder of the cost through the Katikati Town Centre Fund ($200,000), Katikati Community Roading fund ($150,000) the Recreation and Leisure Reserve ($216,000), Lotteries ($350,000) and the balance from a council loan.

Mr Jefferies said the additional funding is great news for the Katikati community.

"When we started thinking about building a new library in Katikati, the community hub was an integral part of the overall concept, so it's fantastic that it can be included in the original build."

Undertaking the project as a single build rather than in two stages is more cost effective for design, consent and build costs, with no demolition and no disruption to the library, Mr Jefferies said.

Indicative savings range between $100,000 and $150,000.

The community hub will be designed as a multi-purpose community space that could, if desired, include space for bookable meeting rooms, a technology centre and exhibitions or displays.

"We'll be inviting Katikati residents to have their say on what they'd like this space to be used for, and how, in the near future.

"These discussions will also include ideas for the future use of the current Katikati Library building, and give people their first look at the design concept."

Councillor Mike Williams said the library and hub complex is a very important building and will be an anchor for the town.

Councillor Peter Mackay said Katikati is really going ahead and it makes sense for the hub to be added to the library project.

Council appointed Tauranga-based firm First Principles Architects to design the library and community hub, to be constructed on the former Dunning Block at 21 Main Street.

The design will be finalised in June and the project will go out for tender and award in July and August. Construction is expected to take about eight months.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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