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Repair plans for ‘rotting’ Glasgow library approved

Work can begin on Woodside Library following Glasgow City Council's decision.

Revamp: The library can now be repaired. Creative Commons by Gordon Dowie / Cropped

One of the city’s Carnegie libraries will be repaired to ensure public safety after councillors approved plans.

Work can begin on the B-listed Woodside Library, which has “deteriorated significantly” over the years, following Glasgow City Council’s decision.

Permission has been granted to Glasgow Life, which runs the library on behalf of the council, to restore the building and replace its glazed dome.

The dome is in poor condition due to water penetration throughout the building’s 114-year existence.

A planning report said: “The glazing is warped and cracked due to movement, the timber mullions have rotted and the supporting steel structure is delaminating with the dome and cowl sitting visibly ‘off level’.

“Additionally sections of plaster work have become dislodged and have fallen from height into the library space below.

“This area has therefore been closed to the public for safety reasons.

“It is considered the existing dome is beyond economic repair and it is proposed that this is the removed and the constructions stripped back to the steel structure and the roof light replaced.”

The St George’s Road library is one of seven in the city designed by architect James Robert Rhind and built after money was donated by Andrew Carnegie.

Work will include strengthening the supporting steel work and forming a new ‘crown’ piece to replace the current chandelier support, which will be displayed in the library.

The chandelier will be removed for refurbishment and reinstated.

Any dry rot discovered will be treated, the ornate plaster work will be reinstated to match the existing design and the interior of the dome will also be redecorated in a colour scheme to match the existing one.

The planning report said: “The proposed dome replacement is in line with a number of both the city council’s and Glasgow Life’s objectives including a commitment to improving library environments, ensuring the public’s welfare and safety and ensuring that resources are made best use of.

“The dome’s replacement will also help to maintain the building’s legacy and use into the future.”

In September, it was revealed another Carnegie library, in Parkhead, could be turned into a drama and performance space.

The council agreed to hand over £2.5m to move Parkhead Library from a Grade B-listed building at the corner of Tollcross Road and Helenvale Street into a new East End healthcare hub.

The move will allow a ‘masterplan’ to be drawn up for the redevelopment of Parkhead Cross.

A council officer said the authority is in talks with Parkhead Housing Association over the future use of the library building, with the association considering a “drama and performance space”.

Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands

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