Sod turned at Drysdale Library

December 19, 2021 BY

Geelong Regional Library Corporation chief executive officer Vanessa Schernickau, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation representative Stephanie Skinner, Bellarine MP Lisa Neville and Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher. Photo: SUPPLIED

CONSTRUCTION has started on Drysdale’s new $9.156 million library.

Geelong Regional Library Corporation chief executive officer Vanessa Schernickau, Bellarine MP Lisa Neville and City of Greater Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher turned the sod on the project earlier this month.

To be part of the new Drysdale Town Centre at Wyndham Street, the library will feature communal spaces, quiet study areas, an adult changing places facility, a green roof, an internal courtyard garden, a City of Greater Geelong customer service point and resource-efficient systems.

The council awarded the construction tender to Nicholson Construction in October this year, based on the tenderer’s project experience, expertise, value for money and project risks.

The new library is funded with a $8.156 million contribution by the city and a $1 million Living Libraries Infrastructure Program grant from the Victorian Government, and is expected to be open by mid-2023.

Cr Asher said it was exciting to see fencing up and works under way at the site.

“The new library will be a striking centrepiece for the Drysdale Town Square, featuring a roof planted with grasses and other greenery to link it closely to the surrounding park and help support biodiversity in the area.

“As construction is now under way, it won’t be long before Bellarine residents have a striking new facility which supports lifelong learning, creativity and social connection.

“The new Drysdale Library is part of our commitment to provide access to high standard libraries across the region along with sustainable facilities that celebrate the City’s UNESCO City of Design designation.”

Ms Neville said she was pleased the Victorian Government was supporting the people of Drysdale and the northern Bellarine Peninsula with a contribution to their local library.

“Funding from the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program will help create a welcoming and accessible space for locals – not just a library but also a community space for people of all ages to enjoy.”

Ms Schernickau said the library would be an invaluable asset for the Drysdale community.

“The much larger space will be a destination for everyone to enjoy a larger collection, meeting and gathering spaces, and a community-responsive program of library events and services.”

In September 2020, Greater Geelong residents provided feedback on what they valued most about the existing Drysdale Library and what they wanted to see in the new facility.

The library was designed by Antarctica, together with Architecture Associates, using the community’s aspirations and project vision and working closely with the city, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Geelong Regional Library Corporation, and other key stakeholders to develop the environmentally sensitive design.

The five-tier amphitheatre and library has been designed to respect and celebrate the area’s Wadawurrung living cultural heritage, in particular the importance of gathering places and the connection to waterholes and water, reflected in the circular features of the design.