The Iconic Jurong Regional Library Will Be Gone From Its Iconic Spot Soon

For anyone who lives in or frequents the West side of Singapore, it is obvious that Jurong East is being developed in Singapore.

In the past ten years, one hospital and three news malls—JEM, Westgate and Big Box—have spawned in the area, as well as a bridge that connects people to good ol’ IMM.

In the next phase of the development for Jurong Lake District, the Jurong Regional Library needs to be relocated.

To the fellow students who have camped out at the library to cram their exams, say goodbye to one of the best spots to study.

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New Master Plans For Jurong Lake District

According to a proposed amendment by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) published on 14 October, the regional library is slated to be replaced by a residential development with shops on the first floor.

The proposed changes also include new development plots below Jurong Town Hall Road and a new road network next to the Science Centre.

The former French-Singapore Institute (12 Science Centre Road) and German-Singapore Institute (10 Science Centre Road) will be redeveloped too, while the Science Centre’s extension—The Annexe—and its carpark will be removed in lieu of a new road.

National Library Board (NLB) has stated that it is cognizant of URA’s plan to redevelop the land where the library is situated, adding that it is currently “working out plans for the replacement library”.

NLB made no mention of when or where the library will move to, though it will announce more details when plans are more concrete.

For the Jurong East residents, the regional library has been part of the community for decades.

The library officially opened its doors in August 1998 as the Jurong East Community, before it was renovated into its current appearance in June 2004.

Upon its reopening, it became the third regional library in the country, after Tampines Regional Library (1994) and Woodlands Regional Library (2001).

Standing on a 12,020 square-metre floor area, the library boasts four floors and a basement, and of course, lots of memories.

New And Old Changes

The master plan for Jurong Lake District was first unveiled in 2008, with the objective of turning the area surrounding the MRT station into “a vibrant commercial node with a critical mass of mixed-use developments”.

In the past decade, the Jurong area has seen some key developments—the refurbishment of JCube in 2012, Westgate and JEM in 2013, and Ng Teng Fong Hospital in 2015.

Not going to lie, when I first saw the hospital which was in the throes of renovation, I thought they were building a condominium.

In any case, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be joining the party with their new offices by 2027.

Meanwhile, CapitaLand Development intends to redevelop JCube (again) into a mixed-use residential development.

As for the former French-Singapore and German-Singapore institutes, it will be reserved for commercial use, according to the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE).

The institutes, which were initially set up by the Economic Development Board as joint training institutes with foreign governments to upskill Singaporeans for new industries like electronics and software, no longer served its original purpose after it was transferred to Nanyang Polytechnic in 1993.

The empty plot beneath the institutes will be turned into white zones, where the space will see a mix of uses such as offices, homes, shops, and hotels, depending on the economic and social needs.

The bigger plots may be sub-divided in smaller ones, if need be, said the URA spokesperson.

Here is a preview of what the Jurong Lake District will look like in the future, compared to the past:

Image: Google Earth
Image: Google Earth

The Science Centre’s main building will remain intact and untouched.

According to the National Development Minister Desmond Tan, the authorities are looking to preserve significant elements of the main building as it has “an iconic character”, reported The Straits Times.

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In all seriousness though, let’s hope that the Jurong Regional Library does not move too far away from its current location.

The main reason why it is beloved by the community is due to its proximity to public transport and the other amenities that have sprouted nearby. It has a wider selection of books compared to other libraries too.

Moreover, where can the students go to find a study area as large as Jurong Regional Library?

There is nothing that epitomises Singapore’s study culture more than rows upon rows of students hunching over their tables with a stressed-out look on their face.

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Featured Image: Google Maps