Library expansion proposed

Initial estimate $5.2 million

At a presentation to Council on Tuesday night, the results of a service needs study were revealed. The study was commissioned by the Library with funds from Ontario Trillium Foundation. The findings of the service needs study were outlined by Stephen Abram from Lighthouse Consulting and Janna Levitt from LGA Architectural Partners. They found that the building in its present state is in need of major repairs for windows, heating and condensation. The study shows that people with walkers and wheel chairs have difficulty in the building. There is also a shortage of washrooms for disabled persons. The last addition, which is approx. 30 years old now, was reported as not being up to standard and it needs, among other things, a new roof. The study also showed that the Library is 1/3 too small to deliver all the programs effectively. To alleviate this problem it was proposed that a new addition would be built which would be a two-storey building with a usable basement. It was also proposed that the basement on the other side of the building be renovated to be made into a usable part of the library. In addition to the proposed addition, the study recommended that additional programs be initiated to cater to teens and mothers who could take advantage of these programs on evenings and weekends. It was also suggested that better cooperation and coordination of programs be made available at the PRC or the Employment Centre. If this was implemented more programs and greater flexibility could be offered to the public. It was also noted that not everyone has a computer at home or at work and for many the Library is their only access to the internet. The initial cost is estimated at $5.2 million and the Library Board and staff will continue to prioritize the future needs of the Library.

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