Library work begins

At the site of the South Dunedin pop-up library and community hub are (from left) Cargill...
At the site of the South Dunedin pop-up library and community hub are (from left) Cargill Enterprises chief executive Geoff Kemp, arts and culture group manager Bernie Hawke, project manager Jane Nevill and artist Aroha Novak. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O'CONNOR
South Dunedin's pop-up library and community hub was abuzz with power tools yesterday as work began in earnest in Hillside Rd.

The hub will be in the unusual situation of sharing its space with local housie players, meaning the room will have to be cleared four days a week to make way for that activity.

The hub, announced in May after the Dunedin City Council had trouble finding a permanent site for the long-awaited facility, has also become a pilot for the city's new arts policy.

In May, the council announced a temporary facility would be established at 199 Hillside Rd, after it signed a two-year lease for a room in the Cargill Enterprises premises.

A permanent site costing $5.25 million was to have been built in King Edward St, but the plan fell through.

Yesterday, council arts and culture group manager Bernie Hawke said he hoped the 200sqm space would open next month.

The design phase had been completed, and consent issues resolved.

The space would be shared, as housie was played there four nights a week, meaning a stage area would be removed and used for storage.

That storage would be used for equipment including four or five roll-away book shelving units that were needed so the room could be cleared.

Furniture in the room would be replaced and carpet added to keep the room warm. The space would also have a council service centre, gig-speed Wi-Fi, meeting spaces and other public facilities.

A diesel heating system would be replaced with four heat pumps.

Mr Hawke said the hub would be open 25 hours a week: 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am to 5.30pm on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10am to noon on Saturdays.

The budget for the work was $150,000, and the hub would require two staff members, who would be recruited from within the council.

Artist Aroha Novak had been employed to provide creative input for the hub, in line with the council's new arts policy.

Ms Novak said she planned to exhibit work by Bathgate Park School pupils at the hub and also the works of artists with a connection to South Dunedin.

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