Letter: Library expansion will mean growing pains for Nambucca arts community

The Big Lift Charity Group assembling in the courtyard . They raise funds for the homeless and needy and the NCAC committee gives them free accommodation as they pass through Nambucca Heads
The Big Lift Charity Group assembling in the courtyard . They raise funds for the homeless and needy and the NCAC committee gives them free accommodation as they pass through Nambucca Heads

NAMBUCCA Shire Council held their latest shire council meeting on Thursday in the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre. The meeting was well attended by members of the public and gave an opportunity for speakers to raise issues of public concern. The main issue brought forward by several speakers concerned future plans for the extension of the Nambucca Library.

The present plan for this rebuilding project features a building extension which would cover in the existing courtyard between the library and the Main Hall of the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre. On this plan the existing small hall would be subsumed into library space and a new small hall is set to be re-built close to the road. The existing courtyard has been described by those who propose and support this plan as 'unused and wasted space'.

Speakers at the shire council meeting pointed out the many and varied uses of the courtyard space over the year and the importance of it to musical, artistic and cultural pursuits.

The president of the Arts Council pointed out the use of the courtyard as an assembly space for visiting orchestras and other musicians and explained how it is essential to the Arts Council concert program and to the organisation of art exhibitions and art workshops.

A representative of the live theatre group, The Valley Performers, explained how the courtyard is essential to their stage productions. In fact they stand to lose their accommodation in the basement of the NCAC building if this plan is enacted so their future would be in some jeopardy.

Finally, the president of University of The Third Age explained how the courtyard is used when large group meetings take place such as U3A forums and open days. At the moment U3A use the NCAC building and in particular the small hall as their home base. On this existing plan the small hall is set to be absorbed into the new library extension. This would mean loss of accommodation for U3A. The idea of teaching U3A classes in a new small hall close to the road which would have no natural light and would be very noisy is not appealing to many of us who are U3A tutors.

We hope that all the speakers who put forward their appeals to "save our courtyard" will be listened to by our shire council. To build on the courtyard would be to seriously reduce cultural provision and the whole purpose of this development grant from Regional Cultural Fund to extend the library was intended to increase cultural provision for our community.

Marlene Griffin, Valla Beach

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