11 April 2019
Gore Library to relocate
The Gore District Council will close the Gore Library next month and relocate it to the James Cumming Wing hall to enable investigations into the extent of black mould in the building.
The library will close on Friday 10 May and reopen on Monday 27 May at the hall. It is expected to be at the new location for about 18 months, although this will depend on the outcome of exploratory work at the current building.
The discovery of mould in February comes after years of library staff dealing with issues caused by the building’s leaky roof. The Council had flagged spending $1.1 million in its 2018-2028 10-Year-Plan to fix the roof but will now take a more global look at what needs to be done.
Regulatory and Community Services General Manager Dr Ian Davidson-Watts said the mould was contained when it was found and did not pose a risk at present.
However, expert advice indicates it is likely to get worse, particularly over winter when it’s wet and ventilation at the library limited.
“Any exploratory or remedial work would disturb the mould as well as asbestos present in the structure, which means we have to close the building.”
The Council has been working closely with environmental specialists K2 Environmental Ltd.
Air quality testing for asbestos, involving staff wearing sensors, came back negative while low levels of the mould types known as stachybotrys and curvularia were identified.
“We want to stress that at this stage there is no risk to customers or staff.
“The safety of all our library users is first and foremost in our mind, which is why we need to carry out extensive investigations into what’s going on with the building structurally,” Dr Davidson-Watts said.
There are 16 organisations, groups and individuals who have regular or one-off bookings for the James Cumming Wing hall between May and January 2020. The Council has spoken with them.
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said the Council appreciates there will be some inconvenience for both library users and people who have bookings for the hall.
“The decision to close and relocate the library is the right decision, but not one we made lightly.”
Staff were working with hall hirers to help them find an alternative venue.
The Council has also offered to assist with additional costs if a hirer finds a venue comparable to the James Cumming Wing hall that is more expensive to use, Mr Hicks said.
Gore Library fact sheet [PDF, 634 KB]
Gore Library FAQs [PDF, 458 KB]