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Naracoorte Public Library / Community Resource Centre - $2 million v $3.5 million

27 September 2017

At last night’s Naracoorte Lucindale Council meeting the Elected Members were asked to consider the dilemma of not being able to meet what the community had asked for in the 2015 library consultation undertaken by Focus Facilitation within in the $2million budget Council has set in its August 2016 decision.


Council was presented with a schematic design for a new library for Naracoorte that accommodates the key findings of the 2015 consultation.  The schematic design includes:


  • The existing library collection, in a new modern space, with integrated seating and new shelving for an improved user experience
  • A new social gathering space
  • A room to store and display local history
  • A community meeting room that will provide a space for community events, social club activities and library staff to run activities
  • A study and business area that will support the changing landscape of the workforce, high school study and video conferencing
  • A new front desk with retail quality customer service
  • A larger children's area that can accommodate story time and school holiday activities
  • A new parents room and toy library will come back into the library


The schematic design can be viewed on Council’s website.


Brett Julian Architect was engaged in February 2017 following a tender process conducted at the end of 2016.  Council resolved at its August 2016 meeting:



  1. Council commits to taking the      next step to an improved Public Library /      Community Resource Centre by:
    1. commencing the       planning & design stage
    2. endorsing a project       upper limit of $2 million for design purposes
    3. authorising       expenditure of up to 7% of the project upper limit on the planning &       design stage of the project during 2016-17
    4. actively seeking       grants to fund the project
    5. preparing a       prudential report if required; and
  2. Noting      that a formal resolution of Council is required prior to proceeding to the      next stage of this project; and
  3. Council      commits to borrowing up to $1 million to upgrade the Naracoorte Public      Library / Community Resource Centre.”


The architect has provided an estimated cost for the base build of the schematic design of $2,278,000 including $108,000 contingency.  As with all large projects there are supporting works that are required which is a total additional cost of $1,255,000 for carpark, landscaping and services infrastructure ($472,000), library shelving, furniture fit out and library equipment ($300,000) and construction contingency and locality allowance ($483,000).  Additional expenses will be incurred for Lodgement and Professional Fees of $200,000. This brings the fully completed project budget to $3,733,000. 


The construction contingency and locality allowance covers the anticipated additional cost of building in a regional area using contractors from Adelaide or other capital cities.  The contingency covers the unknown cost of construction due to the design being at a very preliminary stage.  Based on Council’s recent project construction costs it is anticipated that this number and the cost of constructing a car park and landscaping will be considerably less, hence the reason for recommending an upper working limit of $3.5million.


The schematic design provides for a 620m2 library, 300m2 more space a greater number of services and meets the desires expressed by the community during the consultations undertaken during June and July 2016 and the first half of 2015.


The fully completed project budget could be accommodated in this year’s budget (2017-2018).  Two million dollars has been included in Council’s 2017-2018 Annual Business Plan and Budget to upgrade the Naracoorte Public Library.  This allocation notes that Council will be seeking external funding of $1 million such as a grant and borrow $1 million. 


The 2017-2018 Annual Business Plan and Budget also allows $2.8million for an upgrade to the NRLE cattle selling pens which was subject to receiving 50% grant funds with the balance funded by a 20‐year loan and contribution from agents.  This project was not successful in attracting external funding therefore these funds can be used for the new library and allow Council to increase its commitment to borrowing for the library to $1.75 million.  Consequently, there is no expectation that an additional increase in council rates will be necessary.


(The upgrade to the NRLE cattle selling pens will still take place, but a different strategy will be used, with the cost being covered by funds generated from the NRLE’s existing and new commercial activities.)


The Elected Members spent considerable time at last night’s Council meeting discussing the dilemma that they are faced with and will continue the discussion at a Special Council Meeting being held next Tuesday, 3 October 2017 at 5.30pm at the Council Chambers, DeGaris Place, Naracoorte.