Sidney library to get $1.5 million in renovations

Timeline for construction work depends on public survey on library renovation plans.

The Sidney North Saanich branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

Sidney’s library is going to receive $1.5 million in renovations and the Vancouver Island Regional Library wants your ideas.

On Wednesday, March 22, the VIRL unveiled to the public three options for renovations to the existing branch on Resthaven Drive in Sidney. VIRL Divisional Manager of Communications David Carson says they will be welcoming people in to share ideas and suggestions for what they would like to see in their library. They will take feedback and offer people the chance to fill out a survey, before potentially adjusting the renovation options prior to construction.

In 2016, the VIRL had approached the Town of Sidney and District of North Saanich, seeking municipal feedback on the future needs of the local branch of the library. On the table for discussion were renovations, new buildings and second library locations on the Saanich Peninsula. North Saanich has embarked on plans with the VIRL to explore the possibility of a second branch in the District, possibly at the Panorama Recreation Centre.

In Sidney, Carson said the Town renewed the VIRL’s lease on the current building for another 10 years, meaning they went with the renovation option. Carson said the work will be confined to within the walls of the existing structure.

The building envelope is currently being reviewed by the VIRL and an architectural firm.

Once that is complete, Carson said they will have an idea of how to apply the renovation options — including suggestions from the public. In a general sense, he said the work will see the space layout revamped, new technology put in place, new furniture installed and more.

The cost is $1.5 million and is coming out of the VIRL’s capital reserves. That means there will be no increase to its municipal levy to pay for the work, nor will they have to borrow money to cover the cost.

Once the public survey is complete, the VIRL will review the feedback, possibly updating their options list, and pick one that works for the Sidney branch.

The timeline for that — and for construction to start — is still pending.

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