WORK on Kinsale’s contemporary new three-storey library, described as a ‘unique civic building for the town’ is set to commence in November, following a tendering process.
The library, based at the Old Mill building, will incorporate a public realm space, with the ground floor foyer acting as both an entrance hall and a performance space with tiered seating. The second floor level is accessed directly off the main library hub and the upper level will function as the main reading room.
Councillors at a Bandon Kinsale Municipal District meeting held in County Hall were informed by project architect Billy Smyth about its progress, who said they hope to be in by the middle of November.
‘We went to tender for this project at the end of January of this year and we’re now at the stage whereby on September 23rd we issued a letter of intent to the successful main contractor. From this point onwards we are looking at approximately six to eight weeks before the commencement of works on site and expect to be in by the middle of November,’ said Mr Smith.
He added that they have some issues to address between now and then, including the submittal of insurances from the contractors, bond issues, negotiate a programme between all stakeholders and finalise agreement with its neighbours.
‘We are left with a three-storey volume internally, but with no internal floors. The proposition will involve removing the existing roof that is there and inserting a new glulam timber structure onto the existing structure. Adding to the rear of the building where a service yard currently is will be a new service block which will include a lift and staircase.
‘The ground floor will effectively be taken up with an exhibition space, a foyer and tiered seating area leading to the main reading room on the first floor level which then leads up to the top level with another reading room.’
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG), who described it as one of his ‘pet projects’ said it is a good news story for Kinsale. ‘I was disappointed with the timeframe actually, but it’s better late than never and it’s most welcome for Kinsale,’ said Cllr Murphy.