One of the four relocatable building units arriving on site on Friday morning. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Library Learning Centre begins to take shape

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Work is under way on a new library facility for the Masterton community.

The Masterton District Council is developing the Library Learning Centre – Te Puna Ako on the vacant site next to the library on Queen Street.

Community facilities and activities manager Andrea Jackson said the start of construction on Friday was an exciting milestone.

“Our current whare pukapuka is bursting at the seams and we have to limit the number of people that can take part in some of our popular programmes because we simply don’t have the space.”

The new centre, constructed from four relocatable buildings, will be an extension of the existing library and serve as a proof of concept for proposed programmes and facilities.

It will enable more people to take part in activities like 3D printing and design, laser and vinyl cutting, coding, Lego and Minecraft groups and support the introduction of new programmes.

“The Library Learning Centre – Te Puna Ako will also enable us to test demand for some new ideas that we have in mind as well as increasing the level of service we currently provide our community,” Jackson said.

The council has committed $5 million for a new library building with the project expected to kick off in late 2020 or early 2021.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said she had taken her grandchildren to the Masterton library before and was excited about what could be offered through the increased space.

“The relocatables are there because there are so many popular activities that the library staff want to run with children.

“I’m looking forward to them providing more space, particularly in the digital age.”

The new library learning centre is expected to open to the public later in March.