DOING nothing about Huddersfield's ailing library and art gallery is simply not an option, Kirklees Council's leader said today.
Clr Kath Pinnock was speaking as the debate continued about proposals which could lead to the building being demolished.
After a private decision by the Liberal Democrat-led Kirklees Council Cabinet, experts will be appointed to carry out a full survey into the exact problems of the 1930s' building.
Clr Pinnock said: "What is important to emphasise is that, in the medium to longer term, to do nothing is not a realistic option. The building needs essential repairs and improvements. The estimate for repairs and improvements is put at £5m. That issue cannot be ducked."
Clr Pinnock promised: "There will be full consultation."
Six options which will be put to the public are:
* Retain, repair and extend the library and art gallery as part of a wider regeneration scheme taking in the Piazza, market hall and car park.
* Replace the library and art gallery as part of a wider scheme.
* Replace the library and art gallery with a new building.
* Keep the façade of the library and art gallery building as part of a wider scheme which would include a new library and art gallery building.
* Retain, repair and extend the library and art gallery.
* Keep the façade of the library and art gallery building while replacing the main part with a new building.
Clr Pinnock said the building had inadequate access for disabled people and its internal layout made it difficult to provide modern-day services.
She said: "Last year the library was closed for several days following problems with a leaking roof and flooding after heavy rain.
"The steel framework of the building shows evidence of corrosion, the heating system needs completely replacing, lifts need refurbishing and external stonework needs repairing."
Clr Pinnock said consultants would look at the feasibility of each option and a detailed structural survey would take place between now and next spring.
It would be followed by full public consultation, she said.
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