22 Nov 2016

Quake concerns close Hamilton library

2:14 pm on 22 November 2016

The Hamilton Central Library has been closed due to concern over the building's earthquake risk.

Hamilton Central Library

Hamilton Central Library Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae

The immediate closure is not connected to last week's quake, but comes after a seismic assessment found that a section of the library was rated at only 15 percent of the national building standard.

Hamilton City Council said while it was not obliged to close the library, it had done so as a precautionary measure and because of concern over any potential risks to the public and staff.

It said other parts of the library were rated between 34 and 100 percent of the national standard.

The council said the main problem centred on a concrete slab on the third floor, and the weakness created by a stairwell and a escalator shaft.

The area is normally closed to the public but it is above a public area of the library.

Repair work is likely to start early in the new year but at this stage it is not known how much it will cost.

A temporary pop-up library will be opened in the council's reception lounge not far from the central library.