Long wait for new Byron Bay Library nearly over

An artist’s impression of the new $5.6 million Byron Bay Library.
An artist’s impression of the new $5.6 million Byron Bay Library.
For book lovers, the long, long wait appears to be almost over.

The development application for the much-needed new Byron Bay Library, to be built on the corner of Lawson and Middleton streets, is expected to go before Byron Council on August 27.

Friends of the Library spokesman Bob Levett said he was pleased the project was getting ready for the first shovel to be turned.

“Byron Bay needs this new facility and it will become a wonderful place for people to meet and learn,” he said.

“The Friends of the Library has been involved in the development of the project and is thrilled to see this much-need facility progressing.”

 Once the application is approved, the documentation will be prepared to go to tender and it’s hoped building will begin in early January with construction expected to take a year.

At a cost of about $5.6 million, the library is being funded through section 94 funds, community funds and council loans with council staff also preparing and researching for available funding grants to support construction costs.

Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the new library would be a vibrant, interesting and exciting place for the whole community, welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds.

Cr Barham said it would be a focus for a wide variety of cultural, learning and recreational and cultural experiences.

“Along with areas for quiet study and information-seeking, there are meeting rooms for learning and lectures and a space designed for exhibitions including travelling library displays, art and craft,” she said.

“In recognition of the strong support and commitment of the Arakwal people in gaining the site for the new library there will be a dedicated room made available for them.

“The building incorporates sustainable features and has been designed to meet the Green Building Code 5 Star rating. The Byron Bay Library will be the first civic building on the North Coast to meet this high standard of sustainable design.”

Cr Barham said the look and feel of the building would also be enhanced with public art and the council had endorsed the development of an Australia Council ‘Creative Communities Partnerships’ application.

She said the application would seek to develop partnership opportunities to incorporate art that reflected the history of the region, indigenous culture and community.

The council had also established a Project Reference Group (PRG) that would be developing a landscape plan to provide opportunities for the installation of public arts works identified through the process.

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