New city library plans go on display

PLANS for the proposed new library set for John Street in Kilkenny City have now gone on public display, with feedback sought by the local authorities.

PLANS for the proposed new library set for John Street in Kilkenny City have now gone on public display, with feedback sought by the local authorities.

Construction of the 1,450sqm building will necessitate the demolition of extensions at the rear of numbers 75 and 76 John Street, removal of the boundary wall between these buildings and County Hall, and demolition of an adjacent outbuilding. The site is located within the John Street Architectural Conservation Area, and both 75 John Street and County Hall are protected structures.

A new two-storey library building will then be constructed to the rear of 75 and 76 John Street. The project will include refurbishment and conservation work to the existing buildings at 75 and 76 John Street for use as the arts office and library.

The building is to feature a number of specially-designed spaces within, such as a children’s area, a community room, a resource area, and an exhibition space.

Architects from Bucholz McEvoy made a presentation to Kilkenny Borough Council last May on the plans. It was greeted with enthusiasm by all but one member of the council.

The then-mayor Cllr David Fitzgerald said that it was it was a great shame to discard the existing Carnegie Library, and that the new building would be unsuitable in both its design and location.

“This proposal is an attempt to shoehorn a building onto a site that isn’t suitable,” he said.

“It will totally obliterate the view of County Hall from the Castle. And, the style and context is not appropriate next to one of the finest Georgian buildings in Kilkenny.”

However, current mayor Sean O’ hArgain has previously said it is a “good project, and a comprehensive plan for a long-needed facility in the city.”

The plans and particulars of the proposed development will be available for inspection until Friday, April 19 at City Hall, County Hall, and the Carnegie Library on weekdays. Submissions or observations may be made in writing to Town Clerk Brian Tyrrell not later than Friday, May 10 at 12pm.