New Library and Cultural Facility
A new library, arts, culture and public space - looking to the future
In 2011 an independent review of all our library services identified the need for a larger library in Hawera. The review found that the Library was too small for the number of people using it (approximately half the size recommended to service a population of Hawera and surrounds), which limited the services and programmes that a modern library normally provides. The review recommended Council create a combined facility for library, arts, culture and heritage services (we’ll call it a ‘Civic Centre’ for short) along with considering the relocation of the i-SITE visitor centre and bus stop. This recommendation was timely given that Council was considering ways of addressing issues Hawera faced relating to earthquake prone buildings, the lack of good quality public toilets and the need to revitalise the town centre.
As part of its 2015 – 2015 Long Term Plan the Council decided to build a ‘Civic Centre’ which would include a bigger library (including meeting rooms, computer suite and multi-use spaces), public toilets, an art gallery and heritage exhibition space, the i-SITE information centre and bus stop. Possibly additional retail space and a café could be considered if private business wanted to enter some sort of joint venture. This facility will be a key anchor project in the Hawera Town Centre Upgrade and will have the potential to efficiently combine a number of facilities onto one site, bringing much needed foot traffic, visitors and vibrancy to the town centre (rather than to the current location of the i-SITE Visitor Centre and bus stop on the edge of the CBD).
The cost of this development is estimated to be $6 million. The Council has agreed to contribute up to $3.6 million to the facility with the rest coming from external grants and sponsorship. Council’s contribution will be funded by taking out a loan. Annual drawdowns from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) will be used repay the loan over a number of years. This would mean there would be no impact on rates to fund the project.
Over the past few months, Council has been investigating a suitable site for the new facility, which will be based on location, cost and a willingness of owners to sell to sell their property to the Council.
In August this year, the Council appointed Wellington based firm Warren and Mahoney to be the lead architect for the design of the facility. Their work will begin in earnest once a site has been secured.
Update on Progress - Tuesday, December 20, 2016
A major milestone in the Hawera town centre redevelopment project has been achieved today with the announcement that the South Taranaki District Council (STDC) has secured land in the CBD to build the new Centre for Heritage, Arts, Library, Culture and Information (CHALCI).
South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop, says the Council has purchased two properties on the corner of Regent and High streets in the middle of town (see picture below).
“The new facility will be a key anchor project in the Hawera Town Centre Upgrade and will have the potential to combine a number of facilities onto one site, bringing much needed foot traffic, visitors and vibrancy to the town centre,” he says.
Mayor Dunlop says the new facility would include a bigger library, meeting rooms, public toilets, an art gallery and heritage exhibition space, the i-SITE information centre and a cafe. Possibly additional retail space could be considered if private business wanted to enter some sort of joint venture.
“Now that the site has been confirmed, we’ll be able to start work on the design of the new facility, which will involve plenty of consultation with key stakeholders. There’s a lot of planning and preparation to be done and we realistically don’t expect construction to start for another 12 – 18 months,” he says.
The Hawera Town Centre redevelopment is one of the key projects Council identified in its 2015 – 2025 Long Term Plan. Work is expected to be finished on the first town centre project, Campbell Lane, in late March 2017.
Mayor Dunlop says the Council is funding its contributions to the town centre project by way of loans, which are paid back from annual drawdowns from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) This means there is no impact on rates to fund the project.
Te Ramanui receives major grant from TSB Community Trust
Friday, June 07, 2019
Te Ramanui o Ruaputahanga, South Taranaki’s new Library, Culture and Arts Centre, has received a $2.8 million grant from the TSB Community Trust.
South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop, was absolutely thrilled with the TSB Community Trust’s decision. “The Trust’s grant is a huge boost and means that we can move forward on this project with great confidence.The Trust has once again demonstrated its commitment to and investment in the district by supporting projects that will make a real difference in South Taranaki,” says Mayor Dunlop.
“The Te Ramanui o Ruaputahanga project is to create a new vibrancy in Hawera providing enhanced community services, creating economic stimulus and improving connectivity for both the South Taranaki community and for visitors to the district,” says Maria Ramsay, Chief Executive TSB Community Trust. “It also aligns well to our strategy by increasing access to opportunities, enhanced tamariki and whanau wellbeing and increased capability.”
South Taranaki District Council’s (STDC) Chief Executive Waid Crockett, says the $8 million facility, to be located on the corner of High and Regent Streets, is the key anchor project in the Hawera town centre redevelopment .
“At 1605m2 the building combines a number of facilities onto one site, including a bigger library, meeting rooms, public toilets, an art gallery and heritage exhibition space, i-SITE visitor centre and café,” says Mr Crockett.
“Te Ramanui will provide people with a wide-range of services, information, cultural and educational resources right in the heart of Hawera, bringing more foot traffic, visitors and vibrancy to the town centre.”
The building, designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, takes environmental sustainability into account wherever possible, which helps keep ongoing operational costs to a minimum.
“Te Ramanui o Ruaputahangameans the beacon or signal fire of Ruaputahanga, a famous Taranaki Maori ancestress. Ruaputahanga would light the beacon as a signal for Iwi to meet so they could talk, share ideas and knowledge. We think the name, which was gifted by Ngati Ruanui, perfectly symbolises the new centre’s purpose as a place for the community to meet in order to share information and gain knowledge,” he says.
“Te Ramanui will not only be a community and visitor hub, it will be a catalyst for driving change and increasing investment. We believe it will completely transform the town centre.”
Mr Crockett says the Council is contributing $4.8 million towards the facility, with the remaining $3.2 million being sought from external funding.
“The Council’s contribution is being loan-funded. Earnings from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) will be used to repay the loan over a number of years so there is no impact on rates to fund this development. Thanks to the TSB Community Trust’s support we are now well on our way to meeting our external funding target,” he says.
To date the site for the new centre has been purchased and detailed designs are being developed. Construction is planned to begin in late 2019 - early 2020 to be complete by July 2021.