The Excel Arts Centre in Tipperary town is to remain open while the town's library is transferred to the building from Dan Breen House.
In a joint statement from both Tipperary County and the Excel management, it is confirmed that the centre will remain open for the 32 week construction job.
There had been fears that the centre would close for six months during the work, that the staff would be unpaid for those six months and that existing tenants of the centre, including a cafe, would be forced out.
But a statement from Council CEO Joe MacGrath and Excel chair Kerry Ryan, it was confirmed that the threatened closure will not now proceed.
The statement says - Following discussions between the board of Tipperary Excel Arts Centre and Tipperary County Council, Tipperary Town Library, presently located in Dan Breen House, will be relocated to the ground floor of the Tipperary Excel Arts Centre. During what is a planned 32 week construction project Tipperary Excel Arts Centre will remain open.
The construction works will involve the construction of a glass lobby entrance opening out onto the street, which will enhance the facade of the building and the streetscape of the surrounding area.
In addition, improvement works will be carried out on the ground floor of the building including the provision of new disabled accessible toilets.
While, inevitably, there will be disruption caused by the construction works, plans are in place to ensure early and continuous engagement throughout the project between the contractor and principal stakeholders of the building in order to keep such disruptions to a minimum.
The works will result in a new high quality Library in the centre of Tipperary Town which, it is anticipated, will result in excess of 30,000 library visits annually. It is envisaged that works will commence April 2017.
Cllr Roger Kennedy, Cathaoirleach, and the Elected Members of the Cashel/Tipperary Municipal District Council welcomed the news that agreement had been reached with the Board of the Excel Centre to proceed with the relocation of the Library to the Centre.
Cllr Kennedy stated - "I am delighted to see that the Library move to the Excel Centre has been fully agreed. Tipperary County Council is committed to providing a high quality, modern Library service for the citizens of Tipperary Town. I welcome the partnership between the Excel Centre and Tipperary County Council which will see a new Library being provided in the heart of the town."
Kerry Ryan, Chairperson of the Excel Centre stated - "On behalf of the board, I am delighted an agreement has been reached which sees Tipperary Excel Arts Centre becoming the new home to Tipperary Town Library.
"At no stage did the Board of Tipperary Excel Centre suggest or agree to a vacant possession build. This exciting development will only go to future increase the pivotal role Tipperary Excel Arts Centre plays in the daily lives of the people of Tipperary Town and surrounding communities. The decision to relocate the library to the Excel will help to secure the arts centre’s future. The Board acknowledges the enormous support, financial and otherwise it receives from Tipperary County Council including the considerable amount of work invested in the Library Project."
Tipperary County Council Chief Executive, Joe MacGrath also welcomed the news and stated - "The Council is committed to providing high quality library services and I am satisfied that the move of Tipperary Town Branch Library to the Excel Centre will prove mutually beneficial to both parties and also to the people of Tipperary Town who will be the ultimate beneficiaries. I would like to pay tribute to the Board of Tipperary Excel Centre who, in a relatively short space of time, has managed to stabilize the finances of the Excel. I am satisfied that the decision of the board to accommodate the Library in the Excel Centre will help to ensure the long term viability of the Centre."
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