Waikanae Library building - now closed
WAIKANAE LIBRARY CLOSURE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
The main Waikanae library will be closed for the foreseeable future. Exploring options for fixing the building damage will take time, and we want to make sure it’s done right. We don’t currently have a confirmed timeframe for reopening, as it depends on what option is chosen to move forward with. In the meantime, we’ve got the pop-up library and customer service in place.
Reopening a regular Waikanae Library and Service Centre is a top priority for us and we’ve been exploring a range of medium term options which would allow us to do this.
This has included looking into leasing various premises, as well as relocatable containers or buildings. Things are progressing, and we hope to be in a position to share more information in the next few weeks.
Having a medium term solution in place gives us the time to carefully investigate options about Waikanae Library in the long term. Availability of funding will be part of this. We need to make sure we’re taking the time to get this right and we’ll keep everyone in the loop as we progress.
Waikanae Library air quality testing was carried out to assess whether leaks and water damage in the library building posed a risk to the health and safety of staff and customers. Air samples and carpet swabs were tested from inside the Library, and two concerning types of mould were found to be present on both levels of the building. The presence of mould is common in water-damaged areas, and there are leaks and water damage in the Library.
Our experts have advised that they’re unable to determine how long the mould has been present, but it’s likely that it may have been there for some time.
Advice from our Occupational Medical Professional is that this type of mould can cause some respiratory issues after prolonged exposure, but once the mould is removed, or people are removed from the environment, it is highly unlikely to cause ongoing issues.
There were approximately 27,800 items in the library, which are all being, or have been decontaminated as a precaution as they’re removed from the library.
We were aware that the building had leaks and some water damage, and funding had been allocated for an upgrade as part of the long term planning process. In light of this new information, we’re revisiting our options for moving forward.
We have carried out testing at the Ōtaki Library, and the results came back clear. We’re also about to carry out testing at several other Council buildings as part of our property maintenance activity.