INVERCLYDE Council are pressing ahead with a £3.6million plan to convert Greenock Central Library into offices for around 170 of its social care and health staff.
The library building at Clyde Square will become the headquarters and main office for Inverclyde Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) although it will not be big enough to accommodate all CHCP staff of whom there are 405 at present. Work is expected to start in August 2012 and be finished by July 2013.
The project is part of massive shake up of the council’s office accommodation which involves reducing the number of desk spaces across the authority to 725. The strategy assumes there will be a reduction in the number of staff and will also involve other initiatives such as mobile and home working as well as a move to more open plan offices.
There would continue to be council offices in Greenock Municipal Buildings and Gourock Municipal Buildings. The Business Store in Cathcart Street will be kept although it is to be used as a temporary home for the Central Library initially.
Around £1.5million will be spent on relocating the Central Library to its new permanent home at the ground floor of premises at Wallace Place, Greenock -- recently vacated by River Clyde Homes -- with offices created on upper floors.
A location is being sought for offices in Port Glasgow town centre. The Dalrymple Street social work headquarters would become surplus.
The offices in West Stewart Street, Greenock were originally to be kept under the plan but officials are now reviewing that proposal and instead may keep the current premises used by the education department in William Street, Greenock. This is because of the difficulty of disposing of the education building and the advantages of having more accommodation beside the municipal buildings.
An earlier plan to use the former Wellington Academy in Dempster Street, Greenock for offices was shelved when River Clyde Homes decided it didn't want to take accommodation on the top floor there. The housing association have relocated to Roxburgh Street.