Five smiling faces and five shiny spades turned the soil at the official ground breaking ceremony, on Jan. 30 in Lake Cowichan. From left: CVRD Director and VIRL trustee Mel Dorey, Rosemary Bonanno, executive director, VIRL, town councillor and VIRL trustee Bob Day, Mayor Ross Forrest, and Paul Hammond, architect with Chow Low Hammond.

Work begins on new Cowichan Lake area library

Staff and library users excited about the increase in space

Work has begun on the new library branch in Lake Cowichan, near the corner of South Shore Rd. and Renfrew Ave.

“We are very excited that the work has begun on our first purpose-built library,”  said  Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) board chair Ronna-Rae Leonard. “Thank you to the Town of Lake Cowichan who donated the land. We appreciate this partnership which will benefit those who live in Lake Cowichan and the surrounding areas.”

“It indeed gives us great pleasure to see that work on the construction of the library has begun,” said Ross Forrest, mayor of Lake Cowichan. We look forward with anticipation to the completion of a facility that the residents of lake Cowichan, adjacent areas and beyond can be proud of. Our efforts at revitalizing the town are being realized through the new library, the town square and improvements to South Shore and Cowichan Lake Roads.”

Councillor and Vancouver Island Regional Library trustee Bob Day says the donation of land by the town has allowed VIRL to focus their budget on the quality of the building and the landscaping.

The success of the library planning encouraged town council to apply for a grant from the Island Coastal Economic Trust for the construction of a town square  adjacent to the library and the Forest Workers Memorial Park. We were successful in being awarded the grant which will pay for half of the cost of the construction of the Town Square. When completed, this project will be the centre piece of a gathering place for everyone.”

Also on hand for the ceremony was  library circulation manager Penny Leach, who says a dull winter has been brightened up for her with construction now started on what will become her new workplace.

Diana Hutton, library assistant at the current library, says she and many of their customers are excited to see the new library get started as well.

Melanie Reaveley, library manager from the Cowichan branch of the library, who was looking after the library while Penny and Diana were checking out their soon-to- be new digs, said “ We are all so ecstatic about the new library. Lake Cowichan has certainly out-grown its current library.”

She notes that the library has been built to suit the people who will be using the service, and because of that, there will be a much larger children’s area in the new facility to serve the young families in the area.

The new library will be more than twice as big as the current facility and will include more public access computers, a laptop bar, comfortable lounge seating, study space, new children’s literacy computer stations and a designated area for children’s programs.

The new Cowichan Lake Branch is expected to open in the fall of this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Cowichan Gazette

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