COMPLETE were engaged by Balonne Shire Council to undertake a concept design and feasibility study for a proposed new library for St George. Council’s current library is housed in an old shed type structure and is unsuitable to meeting the needs of a modern library and community hub facility. However, the current library site occupies a strategic location within St George’s Civic Centre precinct and Council have recognised the benefits that new library and community could bring to the town centre.
Council provided an initial library/community hub brief along with a project budget of $4.0m. This was reviewed by Complete to ensure that Council’s brief and scope were aligned and that a proposed facility accounted for site limitations. Changes were made to the brief to align scope and budget and two options were developed. The preferred option proposes a completely new building connected to the existing civic centre across a common courtyard. A further option was also investigated that proposes to retain the 2 room former library and integrates it into a new library building.
Both options propose a range of library and community and business hub spaces including local history, flexible community meeting rooms, maker space, separate children’s and teens area, a quiet reading room and discreet staff areas. Planning allows for a separate business hub to be used independently outside of library hours with its own separate entry. There is a courtyard that connects the new building with the existing auditorium annex and provides a range of large meeting spaces able to be opened up to create space ranging from 55m2 up to 160m2.