An open letter to all Chemainus stakeholders in regards to the location of the Chemainus Library:
I was one of those who opposed the location of the library in the parking lot [of Waterwheel Park] until I saw the bigger picture and I realized that this location is in the best interest of our community.
By placing the library in the parking lot, it provides Chemainus with the fabulous opportunities to be the recipient of not one, but two great buildings, the library and a “Fire Hall Commercial & Residential Building.”
With some good management skills and positive leadership, the library in the parking lot can be started this year, which is not possible with the old Fire Hall.* This desperately-needed activity would restore confidence and interest in Chemainus and add to a new tourism activity.
*[Especially with the potential soil contamination, by way of oil tanks, which will add hundreds of thousands to the cost.]
By building the library first, it provides the opportunity to move the Information Centre, Mural Society, etc. into a new home, which would not be possible when the old fire hall will be demolished — in this scenario, they have nowhere to go and need temporary, expensive facilities, another unnecessary financial burden.
After the library is built, the old fire hall can then be replaced with a commercial and residential building at no cost to the taxpayer, provided the space is sold under strata title. This way, we can have the best of both worlds and end up with two buildings instead of one.
First and foremost, what Chemainus needs is not another Post and Beam BOX; what Chemainus deserves is a visionary Artistic Creation as unique today as the murals were in 1982, which include First Nation designs, sculpted walls, ceramic tiles and mosaic, stained glass — in short, a building which the world will admire and stand in awe, attract attention and be photographed like the murals. This way, we have both a library and another tourist attraction.
Dr. Karl Schutz