New look for library
Extensive ugrades planned for Harbour Grace location
The Harbour Grace Public Library is about to turn over a new leaf — or in this case, get a facelift.
The Provincial Information and Library Resources Board, which owns and operates the 60-year-old facility, has called public tenders “ for the removal, replacement and possible repair of the roof, eaves, brickwork, windows, side door and concrete,” around the brick structure on Harvey Street. Tenders close June 2. Alan Cass, chairman of the Harbour Grace Public Library Board, said the project is expected to be completed by the end of summer.
Cass noted the building was found to be structurally sound and in a remarkably good state of repair for its age.
However, the building does not have double-glazed windows, which are the norm today, and it needs some cosmetic work on the outside.
The new windows will not only be double glazed, but will also be designed to allow more light in through the front of the building, which the board chairman said “needs a bit more light.”
Compared to library buildings of similar vintage in Carbonear (now torn down) and Grand Bank, Cass pointed out “ours is structurally sound.”
After the exterior work has been completed, Cass said they will turn their attention to the building’s interior, which is also in for a makeover.
For example, interior wall panelling commonly used in homes and public buildings in the 1940s and ‘50s can still be found on the walls.
Cass said they want to “modernize the building, while retaining some of its more interesting architectural features.”
He noted the original building featured a large room at the front where members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15 held their early meetings before moving to their own building.
While they are not expecting to run into any major problems during the renovations, Cass said library patrons could experience some disruptions in service while the work is being carried out. However, they are not anticipating any closure of the library, at least not during the exterior phase of the project.
Once the exterior work has been completed, Cass said they will turn their attention to the inside, where work is expected to take place in the fall.
When all the work has been completed, Cass said they hope to have some kind of grand reopening.
Cass said he didn’t know how much the work would cost.
The trustees of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church — The Kirk (1855-1940) donated the land on Harvey Street, which became the site for the library.
In 1947, a fall fair was held to launch fundraising efforts to build a new library to replace the one destroyed in the Water Street, Harbour Grace fire of 1944.
The “Harbour Grace War Memorial Library,” as it is called on a plaque near its main entrance, was built to honour those who died and those who served in the First World War and the Second World War.
The library is currently open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Harbour Grace Public Library is about to undergo the largest refurbishing in its 60-year history. The project will see cosmetic and practical alterations to both its interior and exterior.