ARMIDALE’S proposed war memorial public library has cleared its last hurdle – now the challenge is to find the money to build it.
The $9.86 million development received approval following a meeting of the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) in Armidale yesterday.
The development application covered the demolition of a number of existing council-owned buildings in Rusden St and the construction of a new building, which will include basement-level parking, a main library space and coffee shop on the ground level, and offices and meeting rooms on the next level.
The panel was unanimous in its decision, following the Armidale Dumaresq Council’s unanimous decision in June.
Armidale mayor Jim Maher said the next step was to work on fundraising initiatives.
“Finding the money for the project will require a good deal of community fundraising,” Cr Maher said.
“We’ll be approaching our state and federal government representatives for their support and council will have to borrow some of the money.”
Cr Maher said receiving the tick of approval would help with the fundraising.
“It means we can get cracking straight away,” he said.
“A new library is badly needed and it’s been a long time coming.”
JRPP chairman Garry West said the development would generate considerable employment for Armidale’s construction industry.
“The proposed design of the new library meets the communication needs of the community and will be an important community facility,” Mr West said.
The building is expected to be open in 2018.