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Gosford Regional Library project

Published On

10/01/2024

Libraries are at the heart of creating liveable, connected and sustainable cities. 

The Gosford Regional Library is set to become a central meeting point for locals and visitors alike, creating a true drawcard to the city centre. 

The vision for the first Regional Library for the Central Coast is to create an iconic building in the heart of the Gosford CBD where our community can connect, create and collaborate

Library Features

Created over four spacious levels, it will have all the functions you expect from a library but with so much more. There will be space to connect, to learn and to do business with Council. A space for our kids to find a love of literacy through interaction and play. Flexible function space, for special occasions and larger audiences. Breakout spaces on every level for private and collaborative learning or just to relax and take in the views of the city and beyond. A smart work hub for those who want a great place to work without the commute and dedicated meeting rooms, recording studios and exhibition space. Library collections on every subject imaginable in one place. 

The building will act as the central library for the Central Coast, providing:

  • A ‘third space’ for our community
  • A library collection curated for our community
  • Spaces for programs, meetings and events to be held which promote literacy, learning, creativity and knowledge
  • Access to the digital world, allowing access to new and existing technologies
  • Creative spaces that foster connected communities
  • A destination for those interested in our local history
  • A collaborative and inspirational environment, designed to attract a community of like-minded, makers, creators and innovative thinkers and connection for people to technical and professional resources
  • A facility for Central Coast commuters to work closer to home
  • Accessible Council customer service points
  • Flexible spaces for events and activities

Project Funding 

The Gosford Regional Library is being funded through the following funding sources:

  • Council Special Levy (former Gosford City Council)
  • Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s Community Grants Program
  • Developer Contributions
  • Council Restrictions

This project would not be possible without the commitment from the Federal Government, as well as from the local community who helped pay for the library over many years through the former Gosford City Council’s special rate levy.

Project Timeline

  • The development application for the Gosford Regional Library was approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
  • Council at its meeting of 27 June 2023 authorised the CEO to finalise negotiations to accept the tender of the successful construction company - North Construction & Building Pty Ltd.
  • August 2023 - Council awards a design development and construction contract to North Construction & Building Pty Ltd
  • September 2023 - Demolition works start
  • October 2023 - Completion of awning, facade, internal strip and ground floor roof cladding demolition
  • November 2023 - Completion of ground floor demolition. 1st floor demolition underway

The community will be kept updated at every step of the way – with the library opening anticipated in 2025.

  • The design will consider the use of outdoor open space as an extension of the Library.

  • The flexible function space will be able to accommodate a number of events and activities including the ability to host Council Meetings.

  • No. However, the customer service staff currently located at the Administration Building will be moving to the new Library. So you will come to the new Regional Library to do your Council business (pay rates, register dogs etc), in the same way that happens at a number of our other libraries. Library staff will also be re-located from the current Gosford Library to the new Regional Library.

  • Yes, flexibility in any new library building design is paramount. Staff are using the knowledge and resources of the State Library as well as working with public libraries that have recently built and upgraded libraries to inform the design.

  • Yes, the current Gosford Library will continue to operate until the Regional Library is ready to open its doors.

  • The building will comply with the Disability (Access to Premises) Standards and include accessible toilets, lifts, continuous paths of travel and a hearing loop system as well as incorporating universal design features delivering on Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, such as adjustable height desks, open plan areas, quiet zones and an accessible public entrance accessible for everyone to access the facility the same way.

  • Gosford has been recognised as the capital of the Central Coast under the State Government’s Central Coast Regional Plan. The Regional Library will be built in Gosford as we own an appropriate site in the CBD, the Parkside building, which is able to house a regional library. A levy was also collected by the former Gosford Council to build a new library. The size and scale of the library has elevated it to a regional status library, as distinct from a public branch library, and will be available for use by the whole Central Coast community to attract visitors and events to the Gosford CBD.

  • LahzNimmo Architects, an award-winning Sydney based practice. They have won awards for other public buildings they have designed included East Sydney Community and Arts Centre and Helensvale Library and CCYC in Queensland. They also designed the Haberfield Library and Community Hall and Elizabeth Bay Marina.

  • Gosford Regional Library will be built on the current Parkside site located at 123A Donnison Street, Gosford.

  • The design creates a sense of a public living room with a view, and includes dedicated library space, Council customer service centre, administration, meeting rooms, flexible function spaces, maker/creator spaces and collaboration and innovation spaces for the community over four levels. See the fly-over video for how it will look. 

  • The Library operating hours are yet to be determined but will meet community needs.  Smart use technology will be available to allow for flexible access for smart work hub users and the bookable meeting and function spaces.

  • The site of the current library building will be incorporated into the new Kibble Park Place and Concept Plan. Removing the existing Library building enables greater opportunity to link the new library to Kibble Park and creates greater space for community activities such as markets and events. 

    There will be no changes in purpose nor interruption to any current operations of the current Library until the new Regional Library has been completed.

  • The positive social and economic benefits are wide ranging, most notably the increased patronage and income generated for local businesses. 

  • As part of the development of the Library, a Construction Traffic Management Plan will be put in place to ensure traffic flow.

  • On 26 September 2019 Council resolved to withdraw from any further work on the Gosford Cultural Precinct and proceed with a stand-alone Regional Library. Council is reviewing plans for an RPACC.

  • Council is currently developing a strategy to address both commuter and short-stay car parking across the region, including Gosford CBD. 

    The library will also be accessible via public transport, with bus stops located within close walking distance to the site and Gosford Train Station a short 5-minute walk away. 

  • Through providing improved public spaces and infrastructure within the Gosford CBD there may be many significant benefits including:

    Contributing to the identity of the town centre, creating a usable, sustainable and vibrant space for visitors and residents to enjoy

    Positively contributing to the economic development of the town centre and the ongoing sustainability of the business located within it

    Attracting more people and enhancing business development opportunities resulting in an increase in economic and employment growth

    Providing opportunities to better experience key public spaces, such as Kibble Park, an important community space used for a number of community events will help increase tourism opportunities through a better user experience

    Providing a significant incentive for residents and visitors to be active (not passive) participants – which will lead to improved physical and mental wellbeing

  • Various value management opportunities were identified by North Construction & Building Pty Ltd and whilst acceptance of those deemed appropriate will reduce construction costs, the total construction cost will remain higher than what was anticipated during original budget development. Accordingly, to facilitate construction of Gosford Regional Library Council endorsed on 23 June 2023 to increase the total project budget to $32.7m with an upper limit construction contract value of $29,150,000.

    The library is being funded through the following funding sources:

    Council Special Rate Variation (former Gosford City Council)

    Federal Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s Community Grants Program

    Developer Contributions

    Council Restrictions

    This project would not be possible without the commitment from the Federal Government, as well as from the local community who helped pay for the library over many years through the former Gosford City Council’s special rate levy.

    Council consulted with the community in February 2018 in regard to concept designs, with majority choosing the 10-story concept that incorporated commercial space – why are we moving ahead with this design and stand-alone concept?

    At the 9 December 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting Council confirmed its commitment to build a stand-alone Library on the Parkside site in Donnison Street, without commercial tenancies. This decision reduced the scale of the building, from ten stories to a size that could be built with the funding secured for the building. At the 22 August 2020 Council resolved to proceed with this final four-storey design, submit the necessary plans and documentation with the Department of Planning and call for tenders to demolish the current Parkside building.

  • The development of the Regional Library is not dependent on the closure of any of our existing branches. In 2015 The State Library of NSW conducted a review of current and future needs for library services within the former Gosford area. This will be reviewed and considered alongside a Library Service Strategy to review opportunities and best practice to service the Central Coast region both now and into the future.

  • The building design will include environmentally sustainable design and health and wellbeing principles. Information on energy efficiency, use of materials and procurement of services from local businesses will all become available as the project progresses and further details are resolved.

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