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.”

Struc­turally sound

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.

Land do­nated

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.

Photo by Bill Bow­man/The Com­pass

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.

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