Steps towards turning the Meremere Hall into a community hub will progress this month when construction starts of a new library on site.
The town’s current library is housed in a building that is old and becoming not fit for purpose.
The shift to the community hall site in Heather Green Ave will lead to the community enjoying a bigger space and a wider range of services from Waikato District Council.
The community can expect a new welcoming space right next to the hall that will provide programmes and services that bring people together, foster creativity and encourage life-long learning.
The space will offer a place where people can relax, make use of more display areas and there will be a designated toddler zone.
There will be an increase in the number of books available and more computer terminals where the community can use free Wi-Fi.
A variety of Council services that are unavailable at the current library will also be accessible.
These include: dog registration, rubbish stickers, payment of rates and water bills.
The doctor’s practice that runs from the current library building will also move up to the community hall site.
“Despite being adjacent to SH1, Meremere is, curiously, a relatively isolated community, so I’m pleased the Council has responded to community needs,” says Whangamarino Ward Councillor Jan Sedgwick.
“More computers for children to do their homework, and older residents to access the internet will really make a big difference. The cramped old building did not allow the space to become a true hub of the community.”
Council held an open day last year at the hall to encourage and collect ideas from the community about what they would like to see in the new library – many of those will be incorporated in the new building.
The new library is being built by local North Waikato builders, Thorburn Builders.
“The team is thoroughly excited about being able to work and share this new building with the local community,” says Council’s Customer Delivery Manager Brian Cathro.
“The addition of more Council services and the fact that the library is next door to the hall means this site can truly be regard as a community hub, and we encourage the community to make the most of the fantastic facilities available.”
The building is expected to take about three months to complete.
The opening hours will remain the same in the new library – Mondays 9am to noon; Wednesdays 2pm to 5pm and Fridays 9am to 5pm.