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Renewing Sechelt Library

Renewing Sechelt Library

The Sechelt Public Library is holding a workshop known as a design charrette, on March 11, into a proposed library renovation and renewal project. A range of community members including library users, seniors, and students have been invited to attend, as well as District of Sechelt staff, representatives from the Accessibility Committee and Advisory Planning Committee, council, library staff and library board members.

The goal of the workshop is to receive public input and identify library priorities for the community that will inform the architect’s creation of three conceptual designs. The designs will be presented to the Finance, Culture and Economic Development Committee before going to council in April and will be available for viewing and input by the community. If council approves, the next phase would be selecting one design for the architects to develop through to obtaining a professional cost estimate.

The library is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year and 20 years of wear and tear. With over 110,000 visits a year, it’s one of the busiest small libraries in the province. It was built in the pre digital era and is dated. Library users’ expectations and requirements have changed.

Key areas to address include improved accessibility, a reinvented teen and children’s area, a quieter location for a “reading room”, improved digital access, removing barriers to staff and patron interaction, upgrading and modernizing the staff workroom, and adding a room for meetings and programs. If the project goes ahead the library will be well poised for its next twenty years.

The library interviewed four architecture firms including three locally and, in consultation with the District of Sechelt’s Joint Facilities Committee for the building, has selected DIALOG, located in Vancouver, to begin the pre-construction and planning work.

The project is expected to be implemented in phases which would spread costs over a number of years and the library plans to fundraise and seek further grants.

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