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Refurbished Glentunnel library unveiled

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The historic Glentunnel library building will soon be back in action serving its local community, after an extensive restoration project.

The newly-refurbished building was unveiled during a ceremony attended by library staff, Selwyn District Council and members of the public on Wednesday 2 December.

The distinctive octagonal building, originally built in 1886, was red-stickered and out of action after being damaged in the September 2010 earthquake.

Selwyn District Council provided project management for the $180,000 earthquake repair, funded through insurance settlement. AECOM were the consultants on the project and Graham Creed Builders were the contractors.

During the refurbishment the building’s linings were stripped out and the floor lifted and reattached to the walls. A new interior framework was built and attached to the exterior brickwork to help support it.

The underfloor and walls were insulated and the rimu matched lining replaced, while new carpet, lighting and a heating system have also been installed.

Councillor Sam Broughton says it’s great to see the local volunteers excited about being back in the refurbished building.

"It is important Selwyn’s smaller towns continue to have the opportunity to access services locally, rather than having to travel to larger towns, and the reopening of the library will ensure this," he says.

"It was great to see the strength of the relationship between the local committee and Council staff who oversaw the project."

The building is due to open to the public in January once its books have been moved back from Glentunnel Hall.

It will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 11am, and will be staffed by a roster of 15 volunteers.


In 1886 after an appeal by local headmaster Mr Opie, John Deans of Homebush granted land to the citizens of Glentunnel on which to build a library.

Money was raised by public subscription and Thomas Lamport, who built the Homebush stables in 1879, was contracted to construct the building.

The building incorporates every type of brick and terra cotta tile then produced by the Homebush Brick, Tile and Pottery Works at Glentunnel.

The brick gate posts and fence were built by William and James Tarling, father and uncle of local author Mona Anderson. The existing gate and posts are original, while the fence was replicated as a millennium project.

In 1984 a Post Office Agency was established in the library, providing mail and postal services in addition to the free library service offered to local residents.

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