Thursday, April 25, 2024

Council to vote on future of new Caloundra District Library

The Caloundra Administration Building is set to be a real page turner if Sunshine Coast Council agrees to move into the detailed design phase for a new green-star, district level library at next week’s Ordinary Meeting.  

Over the past year, council has completed a detailed feasibility and preliminary design to repurpose the building into a new district library, customer service centre, community meeting space and small Council administration office. 

Sunshine Coast Council Director of Major Projects and Strategic Property, Debra Robinson said the building had served the former Caloundra City Council, Sunshine Coast Council and the community well over the past 25 years, however the time had come for a major refurbishment to inject new life into the building, a new space for the community and to meet current building regulations.

“This will be an important milestone for our region and a key piece of social infrastructure which will contribute to the ongoing vitality of the Caloundra Centre,” Ms Robinson said.

“Levels one and two will house a new contemporary District Library, an integrated customer service centre, community meeting spaces and covered outdoor areas. 

“Council administration and three councillor offices will be located on the top floor and the current council chambers and Beerwah Room, with their beautiful soaring ceilings, will become a large flexible community meeting room.

“Repurposing this building will allow us to cater for our growing population in Caloundra and the wider Sunshine Coast community. 

“Our current Caloundra Library has the third highest visitation rate across all Sunshine Coast libraries and, with population increases, won’t meet State Guidelines in terms of floor area.” 

Ms Robinson said the proposed refurbishment of this important piece of council history would be centred around a new town square which connected spaces and civic buildings with accessible events, engaging activities and social and retail opportunities.   

“The design of the new district library building will connect visually and physically with the local landscapes, community, place and stories,” she said.

“The current library building attracts approximately 305,000 visitors each year and we anticipate those numbers will increase substantially when the new building is completed in 2023.

“That increase will benefit the surrounding businesses and activate this area, especially if the library opens for extended hours.

“We intend to provide a welcoming, safe and comfortable space that reinforces a sense of community by facilitating education, social and cultural connectivity.”

The proposed District Library is part of the Caloundra Centre Activation vision which aligns with the Caloundra Centre Master Plan, endorsed in 2017. 

The library is part of a network of facilities for arts and cultural infrastructure proposed to respond to growth and demand and as outlined in the Regional Arts Infrastructure Framework and Library Network Plan 2019-41.

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