Town supports library move to the C2

The Bonnyville library moving to the Centennial Centre is gaining more momentum.

The Town passed a motion at their council meeting Tuesday to support the relocation of the library to the Centennial Centre, and support the commitment of funding needed for the move.

Currently, the town has $1.5 million set aside in their 2019 capital budget for future library expansion and renovations.

“There’s going to be pros and cons to it,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski referencing the residents who preferred the library stayed at its current location.

“I look at it more from a holistic perspective in terms of where they are right now, they need more room and more space for programming, and we look at it as a balance of convenience in terms of building and adding on to the renovation of existing facilities,” he said.

“Some people are very attached to the convenience of the location of the library. Others that I’ve heard about welcome the move to the C2 because there are a lot more advantages for them with their particular lifestyle, kids in hockey and greater use of the facility. For us in terms of dollars of cents, it makes sense.

A rough cost estimate presented to the council for the renovations in the C2 would be $1.8-2.0 million  between $1,700-$2,100 per square metre.

The cost estimate for building a new library-type building in Bonnyville was between $3,500-$4,200 per metre.

“It’s just not a matter of opening a wall up and adding on,” said Sobolewski about the idea of adding on to the existing library.

“You’ve got all the different code requirements…all the differences in terms of roofline. And we’d still reach the same footprint that we have at the C2 with the viability of using different spaces.”

On Nov. 14, the town of Bonnyville library board unanimously moved that they’ve expressed an interest in moving to the C2.

In 2015, the town conducted a feasibility study for the existing library which included options for expansion, or moving to the C2.

The M.D. of Bonnyville also sit on the Centennial Board and fund the library.