Campaigner delighted by library news

Long-time South Dunedin library campaigner Anne Turvey is excited the Dunedin City Council has finally bought a site for a permanent library and community complex. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Long-time South Dunedin library campaigner Anne Turvey is excited the Dunedin City Council has finally bought a site for a permanent library and community complex. Photo: Gregor Richardson
After 29 years of fighting for it, Anne Turvey has finally won her battle for a permanent library in South Dunedin.

The Dunedin City Council announced yesterday it had bought a site for a permanent library and community complex at the corner of Macandrew Rd and King Edward St for $4.7million.

The former city councillor has continually advocated for a permanent library in the area, including making numerous submissions to council budgets and plans.

It was not just a victory for South Dunedin but also the surrounding suburbs such as St Kilda and Caversham, Mrs Turvey said.

''After 29 years of trying it's magnificent and I'm terribly excited and thrilled.''

She praised the library's location, now occupied by Veggie Boys and Para Rubber, which the council hoped would open in 2021.

Mrs Turvey said despite her age (86) she was looking forward to celebrating the opening of the library.

''I'll have a crack at it. I don't see any reason why I won't be there and the celebrations should be long.''

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said work on the hub could start before the end of the year but that depended on how the negotiations with tenants progressed.

The council understood the position both businesses were in and it wanted to come to an agreement which suited all parties, he said.

A temporary community hub has been operating at the Cargill Enterprises building since 2017 and the council was negotiating an extension to the lease so it could stay open as long as possible.

Veggie Boys South Dunedin owner Marty Hay said the company had a 12-year lease on its building which had been a ''sticking point'' between it and the council.

Initially the two parties were at ''loggerheads'' but they had started talking again, Mr Hay said.

There was still a lot of work and talking to be done before the council could take over the building and whatever happened there would still be a Veggie Boys in South Dunedin, he said.

''Paramount to us isn't the site it's the people.

''Our staff have to come first. They've been loyal to me for a number of years now and I'm not going to abandon them.''

tim.miller@odt.co.nz

Comments

The success of the existing hub is due to the staff: librarians.

Site cost approx $5m (incl consultants), plus a build of at least another $5-10m (who knows where the final number ends up at). For that price you can let everyone in Dunedin download millions of ebooks, and still give free bus rides to the Central Library. There are plenty of halls sitting empty in South Dunedin.

This council seems bent on wasting our money in area that needs total redevelopment. Having 1 new building will not change South Dunedin.

 

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