Library budget approved

Ballarat City Council has voted to provide an extra $4.596 million to the Ballarat Library.

The library refurbishment requires extra mechanical repairs and upgrades that were not included in the initial budget proposal.

Significant works will need to be done to upgrade mechanical equipment, electrical systems, fire services, use change upgrades, roof replacement, a Building Management System allowance and lift upgrades.

Further project work cannot be undertaken without addressing these essential renovations so it has been temporarily paused, with $240,000 spent on the project so far.

Councillors have voted to provide an extra $4.596 million toward the library project to be spread over the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years which, combined with the existing $1.9 million commitment from Council and $500,000 from the State Government, would bring the total project commitment to $6.996 million.

Under the refurbishment, the library upgrade will increase space by an extra 600 square metres and allow for more tables and seating.

The current children’s space relocation to the large ex-Australiana collection space will allow for an inspiring discovery and play area. There will also be a baby change and breastfeeding room, and a more accessible front entrance.

It will also provide for increased STEAM learning programs, regular performance space screenings, youth space gaming facilities, increased children and adult programs, increased maker space activities and more digital literacy programs.

It is expected the refurbishment will create a 30 per cent library use increase, which could be up to 2000 visitors per day.

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