Positive first impressions for library plan

An artist’s impression of the planned new library in Gore. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An artist’s impression of the planned new library in Gore. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Reaction is mostly positive to the Gore District Council’s $6.82million concept plan for the redevelopment of the town’s James Cumming Wing and new library.

About 80 people, including residents, councillors and staff, attended the launch of the plan in the SBS St James Theatre last night.

The launch included a virtual tour of the new facilities.

The James Cumming Wing would become the permanent home of the Gore Library as well as a new James Cumming Community Centre.

Resident Faye Jones said the facility would be "an asset" to Gore.

"I love the fact that it was open and spacious looking," Mrs Jones said. "I love the modern look of it."

St Mary’s School principal Annie Nelson said classes regularly used the James Cumming Wing and library and she was pleased with the new concept.

"We’re so blessed it’s just over the road — it’s very exciting," Mrs Nelson said.

"It’s going to be amazing."

Resident Anne Gover said the concept looked "fantastic".

"It’s a rather sterile atmosphere and hopefully there’ll be trees and a water feature in the courtyard to soften it and some trees still out on the front of Ardwick St rather than just glass windows."

While impressed with the design, Gore Garden Club secretary Noreen Thomas and president Anne Hunt were disappointed the club would not be able to hold its annual flower show in the James Cumming Wing as the new hall was half the size of the former one.

"The James Cumming Wing hall was central in the town and meant school parties were able to walk to our show," Mrs Hunt said.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said the plan contained many ideas community members had put forward.

"There would be opportunity for further ideas to refine this as we go along and we want to get your feedback," Mr Hicks said.

"We’re open to positive and negative thoughts."

Libraries and community spaces had changed in the past 50 years but the council hoped the plan "will take us not only 40 or 50 years forward but also further on than that".

Council chief executive Steve Parry said given the James Cumming Wing facade needed updating and the library replaced, the plan was the "most cost-effective option for the council".

The council already had most of the money for the project, including a $3million government shovel-ready grant.

"There will only be new borrowings of $1.3million," Mr Parry said.


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