On the move
Library to be anchor of new Rotary Regional Community Learning Centre
Rebecca Boulter knows the first thing she’ll do once the Summerside Rotary Library moves into its new and much larger space.
“We are going to expand the baby program,” said the librarian. “We have to hold it early in the morning before people come in because people are walking right through the baby program in order to get to the children’s space.
“We will be able to bring out all the sensory activities we have. We can bring out all the books and they can spread out and enjoy it. We are very excited.”
Soon, the Summerside library will grow from 3,800 to 7,500 square feet, becoming the anchor tenant in the future Rotary Regional Community Learning Centre.
The library, currently situated in the old train station on Water Street, will move into the former Canada Post office at 57 Central St., which the Rotary Club of Summerside is in the process of purchasing.
The $1.5-milion centre will include business work stations, meeting spaces, and community space, with the goal of developing entrepreneurial skills, supporting business development and promoting lifelong learning.
The federal government announced $791,498 for the project.
Rotarian Derek Key said the hope is the province will contribute too and a capital campaign will raise the rest.
“We are going to have to turn to the public, those people who see the value in having a good library, having a learning centre that in fact supports not only existing enterprises but, hopefully, new enterprises,” said Key.
The Friends of Rotary Library, which oversees its operation, has been pushing for years for an addition or a move, said its treasurer Gerard Greenan.
“I see first hand when I go into the library how well it is used. I also see the challenges they have,” said Greenan. “This is great.”
Renovations, expected to begin soon, will include upgrades to the interior and exterior, installation of a new heating and cooling system, including geothermal heating and solar panels, a new security system and improvements to accessibility.
Seventeen non-profit groups and educational institutions, all facing space challenges, will also use the centre and the building’s current tenants will remain.
The centre’s expected opening date has not yet been determined, said Key.
“It will be awfully nice if the library was in place and up and running within a year.”