New Glasgow moving ahead with plan to turn library into new community hub

New Glasgow is set to proceed with plans on a $6.9-million community hub project. (Google Maps - image credit)
New Glasgow is set to proceed with plans on a $6.9-million community hub project. (Google Maps - image credit)

New Glasgow is moving ahead with plans to turn its public library into a community hub after the province announced Saturday it would contribute the final $2 million needed for the project.

The total budget for the New Glasgow Destination Centre is just under $7 million.

The federal government has already committed $3.9 million, the Town of New Glasgow is contributing just under $1 million and the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library is contributing $20,000.

New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks said the town's library, a branch of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library, already provides a "tremendous" service and the project will allow it to expand its resources.

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

"We have been working on this for five years, there were a couple of little glitches along the way, like COVID for one,  but it's been very much anticipated," Dicks said.

"We've had the design for the last four years and so it was just a matter of getting all our partners together and on the same page, and it happened."

In a news release, federal minister and Central Nova MP Sean Fraser said the new library will increase accessibility for underserved communities like seniors and people with physical disabilities.

Additionally, he said the new building will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.

Dicks said the new centre will occupy the same footprint as the existing library but will make better use of the space.

A large part of the project will focus on the climate sustainability of the building, Dicks said.

She said as part of the emphasis on sustainability, she said, the town has already placed one of its major public transit stops at the library.

Google Maps
Google Maps

She said a grant became available five years ago to do a feasibility study and the town spoke to members of the community and "looked at what was possible."

Dicks said over the last few years she has noticed that the library has become an increasingly important asset for the community.

She said the library has been a distribution point for COVID-19 test kits and masks.

Dicks said she can't say when the project will be completed but requests for proposals will go out Monday.