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General · 2nd April 2011
Kathryn Oldham
NANAIMO, April 2, 2011: The Board of Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) has approved the lease for a new, larger library facility for Quadra Island at the Cove Centre at Quathiaski Cove.

This is resulting from the Consolidated Facility Master Plan, commissioned in 2009 and approved by the Board in June 2010, which established a new minimum target size of 2750 sq. ft. and identified many deficiencies in library branches, including Quadra Island. The consultants established, and the Board endorsed, a site selection criteria which takes 20 factors into account, including:

Physical Site: Site accommodates facility which meets area standard for catchment area, central to catchment area, site is in future growth area, high visibility within community, close to commercial node/activity, close to other community facilities, site restrictions (i.e., flood plain or restrictive covenants), library use permitted by existing zoning.

Site Access: Accessible by public transit, vehicle parking is maximum permitted by zoning, bicycle parking is provided (as per zoning if applicable), access for service and delivery vehicles.

Building: Meets minimum area requirement (for branch size), meets building code standards, barrier free access, access to telephone, Internet, cable, communication infrastructure, overall premise/building is in good condition, available for long term period (20 years), affordable, separate entrance.

The current 1024 sq. ft. library branch has been at its present location at Heriot Bay since 1990, and the building lease expired on December 31, 2010. In January 2010 Strathcona Regional District requested that Quadra Island library be included in Vancouver Island Regional Library’s capital plan as it was nearing the end of its useful life.

While VIRL’s Board of Trustees Chair Ronna-Rae Leonard acknowledged that some residents feel attached to the current facility, she is confident that the new facility will best meet the needs of the community.

After careful consideration of the 20-point selection criteria for the physical site, site access and building, the Board directed staff to enter into negotiations with the successful proponent.

“The opening of this new library is going to be an exciting event for Quadra Island,” said Leonard. “I am proud of the fair and comprehensive process that was undertaken to find the best location for the greatest number of people. In the end, this library will go a long way to support the library’s goal of increased literacy and lifelong learning”.

Rosemary Bonanno, VIRL’s executive director, said that the new site will allow for expansion of library services.

“The larger library space will allow us to expand our collection, offer more public computers with Internet access, and provide public spaces with comfortable lounge seating for reading, quiet study, and areas for children’s programs,” Bonanno said.

The new library will be in a prime location close to the credit union, grocery store, gas station, coffee shop and other retail businesses, as well as an elementary school and the RCMP office. Students who attend high school in Campbell River will have easier access to the library.

“We’re pleased that we’ll be able to offer a much better library in the near future and can continue to offer strong library services on Quadra Island,” she said.

In the coming months, VIRL’s architect will work with its Cove Centre landlord on space allocation and design, and the library is slated to be operational in its new location in early 2012.
Library Economics
Comment by Rod Burns on 6th April 2011
The new library will cost 3,000 $ plus per month, up from 600$ Who Pays! WE DO! Watch your tax rates go up and for what?

Where are the $$$ coming from - Forestry revenues ? tourism revenues? Shellfish farm revenues? Your PENSION revenues - YES!!!

1,000 sq. feet in the old building is going to min. of 2,700 - 3,500 sq. feet - Where is the justification?

A new library is desirable but is this out of control bureaucracy building a mini-empire?

There are tooo many unanswered questions, behind the scenes decisions!

Watch the Heriot Bay Businesses loose major revenues - close their doors - for whose benefit?

Doesn't make sense
Comment by Gloria on 5th April 2011
It doesn't make sense to me to move the library to the Cove. The Campbell River library is a short ferry ride and walk from the Cove whereas a Heriot Bay site is so convenient for all of Quadra and the outer islanders.
Comment by Diana McKerracher on 4th April 2011
I was disappointed to read of this decision because I enjoy my weekly walks to the Heriot Bay library. It is a social hub for folks in Heriot Bay and the outer islands. We may have more space and fancier washrooms in the new location, but the heart of our Heriot Bay community will be missing.
Comment by Debbie on 3rd April 2011
A new library with almost three times the space! More books. More computers. More seating. A separate room for activities. Yippee.