The final meeting of the Project Advisory Group for the Leys Institute was held on site at dawn on Thursday 23 June.
Coinciding with Matariki, our facilitator Pita Turei spoke to us of the whenua and Matariki as we gathered around a fire pit which was warmly welcomed on such a cold morning. It was a very clear early morning, with stars still in view and a spectacular sunrise over the northern edge of the Leys library building.
We then moved indoors to the Ponsonby Community Centre to be briefed on final concept plans developed by Matthews and Matthews heritage architects. After some tweaks, they will be presented to the Waitematā Local Board, before being circulated through the community for feedback.
The plans include joining the heritage library and gymnasium with a common entrance which then leads out and down to a modern, glassed rear two stories, opening out onto the present courtyard and pocket park in Dedwood Terrace. There will be a substantial entry from Dedwood Terrace. Flexible spaces will provide for a wide range of possible community activities with generous storage spaces for groups and workspaces for library staff.
While council has a budget allocated for the seismic strengthening, the redevelopment plans to make our much-loved heritage buildings adaptable for future uses have no funding as yet. We will need to be prepared to advocate strongly with council and the local board when the plans are finalised.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of Friends of Institute can email co-ordinator Helen Geary at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow the Friends of Leys Institute Facebook page.
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