Relocation of Wellington library branch to Country Club Centre by 2017 will bring a number of benefits to customers, says Vancouver Island Regional Library.
Wellington library has been situated on Barons Road since 1979 and according to the regional library, the current site requires maintenance and hasn’t received upgrades in nearly 20 years. It would be costly to renovate and additionally, a lease is expected to expire in December.
“Really, it came down to, VIRL has 39 branches and over time all of them are expected to need repair eventually, so the Wellington branch is a super popular branch and it’s one that’s been on the radar of the board on a priority list for improvement for some time now,” said Natasha Bartlett, Vancouver Island Regional Library spokeswoman.
The regional library issued an expression of interest in 2015 to explore other options in the area and Bartlett said the mall submission was ideal for a number of reasons, including the fact it is located in a high-traffic area, along a major transportation artery. It will increase the library’s visibility, is easier to access, especially for people with disabilities, and will allow for more flexible hours, she said.
“When we investigated some local options, we realized that there was actually a great space available less than 500 metres away that would meet our budget and would also … give us a little bit more exposure to customers, new customers and better parking as well for existing customers,” said Bartlett.
Steve Hurcombe, regional library divisional finance manager, said the branch will be situated between Dollar Tree Canada and the food court and the budget for the project is $375,000.
Hurcombe said the new site is approximately 4,700 square feet.
Along with the new location will come new pieces to the collection, said Bartlett.
“Customers are going to start seeing newer books, newer DVDs, obviously everything that goes with it, with the new furnishings and new desks and everything,” Bartlett said. “It’s going to be a nicer experience for sure.”
An open house will be held on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the current branch, 3032 Barons Road. Preliminary design work will be presented and a question-and-answer session will be held.
For more information, please visit www.virl.bc.ca.