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Library move, renos bookmarked for 2013

Windsor Park Library will move to Bonivital Pool, St. Vital Library to be renovated

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Windsor Park Library will be on the move, while St. Vital Library will be getting a makeover.


Announced last week as part of the city’s preliminary 2013 capital budget plans, the existing library in Windsor Park (955 Cottonwood Rd.) will be relocating to a new, larger, modern building at the Bonivital Pool site as part of a multi-use community leisure and recreation facility.


The library is one of several across Winnipeg included in a strategy to upgrade some of the older libraries.


"It’s going to be a first-class regional facility to serve families in the Windsor Park and Southdale areas, where people can drop-off books and go for a swim," said Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) in light of the announcement.


An early construction estimate for the new library is $4 million and work is slated to begin this year, Vandal confirmed, noting the 8,000 sq.-ft. building will be built to the city’s green standards and may include a fitness facility at some stage in the future.


According to officials, the new facility will include a multi-purpose programming room, tutorial rooms and space for a collection of around 35,000 items. There will also be increased computer access, public study and leisure space, as well as extra parking for up to 40 vehicles.


The existing library was built in 1961 and the two-floor building has limited parking and accessibility.


"This move is very much needed. The current library has two floors and an activity room in the basement, which limits individuals in a wheelchair or on crutches," Vandal said.


"There’s a dire need for this," he added, noting planners will work towards the model of the Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex on Sargent Avenue.


"We’re building for the future, making this library accessible to people of all ages and abilities and ensuring that we can support all the technology people have come to rely on."


Also, renovations on the existing St. Vital Library (6 Fermor Ave.) are expected to begin this year at a preliminary estimated cost of approximately $1.8 million.


Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital) is pleased the building is being renovated, especially in light of the library’s 50th anniversary this year.


"I’m very pleased by this," said Mayes, noting the building is a "fine example of mid-century modern architecture."


The existing library was built in 1963 and requires significant renovation and maintenance. The building has multiple levels not accessible by elevator and limited parking accessible only by a lane that backs onto neighbouring homes.


"The building is a landmark and is close to the YMCA," he added, noting renovators will target factors such as exterior brickwork, flooring, plumbing and roof repairs.


"Architecturally, the building is interesting and it’s also well-used. I know the kids from Glenlawn Collegiate come over and I’m also a classic user with my family, as we’ll go to the YMCA and then go and get books for the kids. I’m very proud of the building," Mayes said.  

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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