Saanich OKs Emily Carr library lease with Uptown

The Emily Carr library branch should have a new home by the end of the year after Saanich council approved a 10-year lease with Uptown.

The Emily Carr library branch should have a new home by the end of the year after Saanich council approved a 10-year lease agreement with Uptown.

Saanich has agreed to pay Morguard Investments, Uptown’s owner, about $143,800 per year for five years, and then about $160,500 per year for another five years, for the 5,534 square foot space.

The agreement is worth a total of $1.5 million over 10 years.

Saanich has also approved spending up to $730,000 to outfit the space with shelving and furniture and other improvements. Under its agreement with the Greater Victoria Public Library, Saanich provides the library facility and the GVPL pays operating costs.

The new library building is on the upper level of Uptown, next to the entrance ramp from Blanshard Street. A Saanich staff report acknowledged “lingering concerns” about the accessibility of the building, but noted that Uptown management has committed to improving safety and signage for pedestrians seeking the library.

The Greater Victoria Public Library board approved the Emily Carr relocation across Blanshard Street in April, although it was a 8-7 vote, reflecting the reluctance and concern of many patrons to house the branch in Uptown.

“It’s anticipated we are going to gain new users, people who might be reluctant to use the Emily Carr branch in its current location, or to use a library branch at all,” said Lynne Jordon, deputy CEO of the GVPL.

GVPL has deemed the existing building as outdated, poorly designed and it isn’t wheelchair accessible. Saanich agrees with the GVPL that a new location is preferable to upgrading the building.

Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard said co-locating libraries next to Pearkes recreation and at Commonwealth Place helps improve use, and he expects the same for Uptown.

“Certainly moving libraries where people are has shown great success,” Leonard said. “We have two libraries in recreation centres. We want to put the libraries where the people are going.”

Leonard said it’s not yet decided what will happen to the existing Emily Carr building once the library is out. It could be used for other municipal purposes, the mayor said, or it could be sold.

Jordon said the GVPL wants to have the new branch up and running by the end of 2013. Updates will be posted at gvpl.ca.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

A report put forward by the Downtown Victoria Business Association asked owners for input

Pair of Saanich fires, including one that resulted in a death, remain under investigation

Saanich Fire expect to wrap up investigation into Richmond Road Tuesday

Wind gusts turn away cruise ships from Victoria harbour

Weather conditions make docking difficult for large ships

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read