At a recent staff meeting the Picton branch expansion was the main agenda item. It emerged that staff in every branch are fielding questions related to our project. Some questions they knew the answer to and some that they were not sure of the right response. The first question and one frequently asked was ‘When will it happen?” and somewhat in the same vein ‘How close are we?”
Though we are still fundraising for a larger Picton branch (and will be for a while), you will be happy to know that we are currently engaged in the work that must take place before breaking ground. If you have ever built a home or undertaken a major renovation you will know that many things must happen before the actual building phase starts.
The plans for the addition are on display in the library and staff are eager to receive your comments. We are looking at libraries in other centres and staff have visited well-regarded examples of maker spaces in London and Toronto. Concurrently we are having a lot of fun planning some great programming that will support our fundraising efforts.
The important, but less entertaining preliminary work that is currently going on includes such things as taking soil samples. Samples have been taken from boreholes behind the existing building. These samples revealed enough sand content in the soil to indicate a more robust foundation is required. This will add to the cost, but we can be assured of structural integrity. That’s good to know!
Last week we had structural and mechanical engineers touring the building. The complexities of an addition this large are many. It would seem that our hydro bills for the existing building are too high and it is planned that within the scope of the work to be performed that we will see an improvement in our energy consumption. The new space will be as energy efficient as possible. We are planning solar panels for the roof. Once the new build is ready to use we will move parts of the library to enable work to be conducted on the existing building to bring it up to current standards. Or, it is possible that work may start on the existing building this winter, completing the required upgrades before we begin the big project. All this is to be determined!
Last week we met with planners from the County who gave us direction on the several steps to be taken. We will of course need to vet the building plans through the Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee, and because this addition requires a major heritage application we will return with our plans for council’s final approval. The site plan will have to be approved and because of the expanse of the proposed new roof and the water run off that will result, we may have to consult with the Quinte Conservation Authority. All this to say that there are several months of work to accomplish ahead of any visible signs of progress. But progress we shall! The support and encouragement that we are receiving is inspiring.
I would like to thank The Women Around Noon for their thoughtful and generous contribution to our fund. Their support is an example of the assistance that individuals and groups are providing to this project. Your help is putting us closer to achieving our fundraising goal every day. Our Fundraising chair Alexandra Bake, the board and staff would like to thank The Women Around Noon and everyone who has contributed to our project thus far. If you wish to help – let us know call 476-5962 or e-mail bsweet@peclibrary or visit our website at peclibrary.org and click on canadahelps.org.