Redeveloping the Ballarat Library
The Ballarat Library’s first major redevelopment and expansion since 1993 is a step closer after the project was released for tender by the City of Ballarat on 14 July 2022.
The redevelopment of the Ballarat Library includes an expansion to the second level of the building, a new entrance, purpose-built teaching areas, quiet areas, open space for socialisation, specialised children’s and family areas.
The library is first and foremost for the community, it is a place that will inspire, surprise, and delight the community with a strong focus on fostering lifelong learning.
A full set of tender documents is available for interested parties to view and make a submission on or before 11 August 2022. The documents can be found on the eProcure portal, via the City of Ballarat website here.
New facilities to be constructed at the Ballarat Library include a multi-purpose teaching space on the new second level, that can be used for hands-on activities such as cooking, art and more. This area has been designed with feedback from the City of Ballarat departments such as Youth Services, Parent Place, Library stakeholders and the wider community.
At the centre of the library, a large open space with a variety of seating will be constructed for people to collaborate, socialise and read. This zone connects the main library area and entrance to the children and family section, as well as an entry to the second level.
The family section will include visually pleasing shelving for children’s books, making these readily accessible for children. This part of the library will have ample seating and space for reading time, play areas and interaction.
For the City of Ballarat Library staff, new facilities for storage, book return, preservation of historical books, office spaces and plant room will make the day-to-day operation of the library smoother and in turn help staff to continue to provide great services to the community.
The redevelopment of the library will improve the services and facilities the community has grown to enjoy and provide further opportunities for learning and connection.
The new entrance to the library will be easily accessible as it is central to the precinct, enabling connection to neighbouring services offered within Gov Hub and Civic Hall. The Ballarat Library is expected to be closed to the public in October to allow relocation of the library materials, in readiness for construction to begin.
It is predicted that the Ballarat Library will be closed for 12 months and will reopen in late 2023.
During that time, a condensed version of the Ballarat Library will be available for the community to access the library’s materials, internet and other services.
City of Ballarat officers are currently finalising the temporary location, which will be announced to the community shortly.
The Sebastopol Library and Wendouree Library are open as usual, and their opening hours and locations can be found on the City of Ballarat website here.
City of Ballarat Deputy Mayor, Cr Amy Johnson knows how important a central library is to the community.
“It’s exciting to see this project moving forward! Once completed we’ll be able to offer our community a bigger and more exciting library space,” she said.
“We know the library closure later in the year may cause inconvenience to some residents, but rest assured that when it reopens it'll be a much-improved space overall.
“We appreciate the community’s understanding while the central library is undertaking works and we look forward to seeing people using the temporary facility and our other libraries in the interim.
“I can’t wait to see the finished product and what some of the new spaces will be able to offer the community.”
The funding of redevelopment of the Ballarat Library is supported by Department of Environment Land Water and Planning – Living Libraries Infrastructure Program’s grant of $500,000.
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