The Vancouver Island Regional Library team taking its place at the new Chemainus library site, from left, includes: Paul Maras-Hilling, Stephen Warren, Rosemary Bonanno, Joel Adams, Stephen R. Warren and David Carson. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Foundation being built for the new Chemainus library to become a cornerstone of the community

All the services and amenities in keeping with the modern age

Excitement is building in Chemainus along with the actual construction taking place at the site of the new Vancouver Island Regional Library building for the community.

Stakeholders gathered at 9796 Willow St. in downtown Chemainus Monday morning for the official launch of the long-awaited project.

“It’s so good to see shovels in the ground and finally getting down the journey with the community of Chemainus,” said VIRL executive director Rosemary Bonanno.

“To see construction officially underway is a huge development for the community and library staff,” noted Brenda Leigh, chair of the VIRL’s board of trustees. “For a project of this scope, there are many players and milestones, and I would like to thank everyone for their dedication and commitment. This is an exciting day for VIRL and the entire Chemainus community.”

The Sidney-based contractors, CCM Construction Ltd., began the actual physical work at the site two weeks ago.

“This is our crew here – five of us – and all the trades will be coming in once we get going,” said the company’s site supervisor Matt Duhamel.

All going well and according to projections, he figures the building will be completed by late 2019 and certainly well in advance to provide the community with a nice Christmas present.

The VIRL has been keeping up with the times with many new buildings and refurbishments in recent years, including Lake Cowichan in 2014.

Changing times have meant changing facilities to accommodate the public’s useage requirements for libraries today.

“We’ve got a consolidated facilities master plan that guides us through this process,” said Bonanno.

“We want to ensure we’ve got appropriate spaces that community members can meet or for quiet study.

“The design encompasses what people continually are looking for – a place to meet and gather,” she added. “If you want to come and curl up and read a book, you can.”

That’s one of the functions that excites Chemainus Business Improvement Association president Chris Istace the most. To have a reading space like the one at the Duncan branch within the Cowichan Community Centre is invaluable.

“I’ve always been a huge advocate and the BIA has been for this building,” he indicated.

“When we bring that over to a business perspective, businesses thrive off healthy foundations.”

The library is viewed as becoming a key cornerstone of the community.

“The amount of tourists, cyclists and people discovering Chemainus, this will be right here in the heart of the community,” said Istace.

“The biggest long-range thing is it actually fits in with the Chemainus revitalization plan from years ago.”

The new library will feature furniture, IT infrastructure, a vibrant children’s area, a laptop bar, a bookable multi-purpose room and so much more in 5,000 square feet of floor space.

“This building is going to be modern and innovative and a wonderful asset for the people of Chemainus,” noted Municipality of North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. “The wait can often be long for big projects like this to get off the ground, so to see that construction has begun is incredibly exciting.”

“It just evolves, this is the information age,” reasoned Bonanno. “It’s the key to success on so many levels.

“We’re here to support that need and with the diversity of an electronic collection we can expose our customers to a wider depth of information.

“It’s just going to beat expectations, I feel.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chemainus community leaders and local government officials join VIRL executive director Rosemary Bonanno for the traditional shoveling ceremonial photo at the new Chemainus library site. Beside Bonanno, far left, they include: Lori Frankson, Chris Istace, Lynne Smith, Debra Toprowski and Natasha Horsman. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Retired Ladysmith master mariner publishes memoir of a life at sea

John Anderson’s book: Of Times and Tides is a vivid memoir of decades in the shipping industry

Direct mail delivery to Penelakut Island a big benefit for residents

Service that started in mid-March has especially been appreciated since pandemic restrictions

COVID-19 considered as Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district passes budget

$200K for coronavirus contingency in Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ 2020-21 financial plan

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Most Read