Saturday , 19 June 2021

Bonnyville Library staying put for awhile; C2 eyes spring start on renovations

The Bonnyville Library is staying put for a while.

After talks that a move to the Centennial Centre was on the cards, C2 board member Mayor Gene Sobolewski says the Bonnyville library move is a no go.

“At the board level, the library could be placed on hold until there’s a resolution if they want to move or not,” said Sobolewski.

“For the near future I can see, the library will continue to remain where’s it at until such time a major desire to figure out what needs to happen.”

The decision comes as a result of a couple factors.

In February, the town and M.D. had received letters supporting the current location of the library and Sobolewski said the issue was not a “hill to die on.”

But there is shuffling going on at the C2, as the Centennial Centre is anticipating that BCHS could need some of their classrooms during their school modernization.

However, Northern Lights Public School division communications director Nicole Garner says there is nothing finalized with the province on when construction will begin or if BCHS will need to use space at the C2.

“It’s a little bit wait and see because we can’t commit to anything until we have a clear commitment from the province that construction is going ahead when it’s supposed to go ahead,” said Garner.

The town had put aside $1.5 million for C2 upgrades to facilitate a library move and that could be used for other projects, said Sobolewski.

“There was this misnomer that the town asked the library or wanted to move the library. That isn’t the case at all,” said Sobolewski.

“What the town was looking at was expensing or providing the service at the cheapest cost. I think it was 10 or 5 years there was a report that was done and eventually, there’s going to be a need for an expansion of space, there’s going to be more space required for the type of programming the library uses.”

Bingo on the move, Agriplex renovations

The Bonnyville Bingo Association has to be out of the Agriplex by the end of April, said C2 general manager Todd Muir.

Shortly after, renovations will begin at the Agriplex to remodel the entire hall and turn into a modern-day recreational facility, said Muir.

The floor will be converted into a multi-surface floor equipt to handle multiple sports nets.

It will be capable to host weddings and other types of large gatherings, said Muir.

“It’s going to be able to be used for a whole multitude of things. When bookings come in here we can determine what facility works best since there’s always drop-in sports available in one of the two spaces. Then it’s a place for weddings if that’s a more suitable place than the Field House. It gives us more diversity for sports for kids and families,” said Muir.

Also starting May 1, are the renovations to the RJ Lalonde’s VIP area.

Four clear glass doors will replace the windows on the west side and a drink rail installed where the top row of seating is.

The other element is improving the southwest entrance’s stairs and ramp. They will remove the ramp and install an electric lift, which they already have that is not being used.

“It will be a nice place to view. It will really open that end up that end of the rink and make it a nicer place to hang out,” said Muir.

They hope those renovations will be done by the start of the 2019-20 hockey season.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.