‘Rolls Royce’ facility: inside look at library set to open
WHAT was first promised as a "Volkswagen library" will be a 'Rolls Royce' facility, according to the man who spent more than 20 years pushing for it to be built in Rosewood.
Former rural councillor David Pahlke championed a new library being built in the small Ipswich town during his long tenure in office.
He believes the $7.5 million two-storey building is the biggest project in the history of Rosewood.
It will officially open on July 27 after a year-long build.
The library is being labelled as a 'hub' for Rosewood and surrounding rural areas.
It will be jam-packed with technology and modern facilities for people of all ages to use.
"Projects like this just don't happen in one term of council," he said.
Mr Pahlke said it was first promised in 1995 by former mayor John Nugent.
Original plans have changed drastically since then and after several sites were considered, the council bought the land on the corner of John and Railway streets five years ago.
"In 2016 we started putting it into our budgets," Mr Pahlke said.
"We were lucky enough to snag $3 million from the State Government.
"The State Government has never co-funded a library in the history of Ipswich.
"It goes to show here that huge progress doesn't get done overnight. You've got to work towards it."
Mr Pahlke still calls Rosewood home and he was delighted to finally see the project come to fruition.
"It will be a cornerstone for Rosewood," he said.
"It will bring people into town.
"25 years ago, the Volkswagen library was promised. Now it's a Rolls Royce library.
"I'm so pleased."
The library will have its own customer service centre where residents can pay bills, submit paperwork, lodge complaints and engage with council officers.
There will also be bookable meeting rooms, interactive learning experiences and modern library facilities.
The ground floor will include a large open plan general reading area with a children's space, customer service area, maker space and market place area.
Upstairs, there will be a meeting room, study rooms, balcony and function area, booths, general reading and collection areas.
A giant joinery tree in the children's reading corner has just been erected, with residents to be welcomed inside in three weeks.
Mayor Teresa Harding said the facility would become a hub of activity.
"Rosewood Library will not simply be a place to borrow books; it will be space for collaboration, connection and creativity," she said.
"The addition of this beautifully crafted joinery tree at the new Rosewood Library will undoubtedly inspire creativity in our community.
"The installation will create the right atmosphere for Ipswich families to feel welcome and comfortable and is just one of the features that makes our new library unique."
Division 1 councillor Sheila Ireland moved for Mr Pahlke to be recognised with a plaque next to the library at a council meeting in May.
It was shot down, with only Cr Ireland and Division 1 councillor Paul Tully voting in support.
Mr Pahlke said he did not want anything to be named after him and only found out about the motion when contacted by the QT.
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.