On the move

Li­brary to be an­chor of new Ro­tary Re­gional Com­mu­nity Learn­ing Cen­tre

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - BY NANCY MACPHEE

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.”

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