Regina looking to write new story for central library

On the final day for catalyst committee public surveys, attendants heard from the Regina Public Library Board on a proposed new Central Library.

Read more: Regina Public Library set to vote on future of historical central branch

The story starts back in 2008, when the RPL board started a formal review of the central library building.

From that review the board concluded its best step forward would be to construct a new library on the same land the old one currently sits.

This gathered some reaction from the public, with some in favour citing the location would bolster the economy downtown along with added benefits to Regina’s homeless population.

“This is good for people that are at risk. This is good for people that need diverse and inclusive needs whether that be newcomers or accessibility needs,” said Victor Roman with the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation.

Story continues below advertisement

Others were concerned too much was being spent on a new building and felt the board didn’t factor heritage buildings and the environment into account.

Local social rights and peace activist Florence Stratton had harsh comments for the board. “Please do not demolish central library and replace it with a new central library or rather fix what needs to be fixed in the current building.”

Built in the ’60s, the library was considered state of the art. Now, as highlighted in the board’s review, it faces continuous issues.

“The library is about half the size it needs to be. Every day that we are working on a new service we have to figure out where are we going to puzzle it in the picture,” said RPL CEO Jeff Barber.

Elevators and escalators continue to break down, with the review saying it leaves people stranded. It also mentioned dark corners and dead ends, and a lack of independent access to the film theatre for those who have mobility issues.

Read more: Regina catalyst committee looks to hit grand slam on event centre

In the board’s proposal, it includes a new facility double the size of the old library. No early renderings have been made but the board wants to ensure it would contain dynamic spaces, where residents could meet for lectures, stop for a coffee or catch up with friends.

Story continues below advertisement

The board is also expecting a new addition would also increase foot traffic. They say the Central Library currently sees roughly 470,000 visitors annually.  They believe the new building would add an additional 250,000.

The catalyst committee will present their reports to Regina city council in January 2023.

&© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source