Nelson Weekly first broke the news of the trouble with the Stoke Library with a story in July.

$200k quick-fix for Stoke Library


An unbudgeted $200,000 patchup job of Stoke’s rotting library looks likely to be the go-to option for Nelson City Council until a bigger picture is painted for the struggling suburb.

The community services committee unanimously recommended the quick-fix option last Thursday, with the final decision to go to full council at the end of October.

An additional $25,000 has also been mooted to investigate “more permanent solutions” and will take the whole of Stoke’s landscape into consideration, including the proposed youth park.

Decay, rot and toxigenic mould were discovered in the roof beams and cavity of the 25-year-old building during maintenance repairs in June.

The future of the library has been up in the air ever since.

A weather tightness report undertaken by an independent surveyor revealed there is decay to the structural beams and a laboratory analysis identified brown rot on the frame and plywood sheathing and Stachybotrys toxigenic mould in the plasterboard.

Over the past few months, the library has been made structurally safe both internally and externally with scaffolding to support the extended roof beam.

An immediate short-term fix would take the library through the next annual plan process and would include the removal of the exterior damaged sections of the structural roof beams, installation of a load bearing post inside the library, treatment of areas with mould, replacing specific cladding and flashings and checking for any further damage.

The library would be closed for up to two weeks while the work was carried out.

Chair of the community services committee, Gaile Noonan, said it was important they think of the future of the surrounding area when coming up with a long-term solution for the library.

“I want the big picture drawn … at the moment we are being a little bit held back by not knowing what Stoke should look like, because we haven’t had that conversation,” she says.

$2.5m is also included in the Long-Term Plan in 2021-25 for a possible upgrade or relocation of the building.

Councillor Brian McGurk spoke in support of the option.

“There’s a lot going on in Stoke. It’s a project that has lost its mojo and it needs to be reactivated.

“A short-term fix will give us a bit of breathing space to come up with a long-term solution and bigger picture for Stoke.”