The Subdivision and Development Authority approved the building of the new Vauxhall Public Library during their regular meeting on Feb. 10.
The library will be located at 504 2nd Avenue North. With the cost of about $490,000, it is expected to be finished by fall of this year. The board is still busy securing funding.
“It sounds like we’re going to be able to go to tender really soon,” said Joe-Anne Farnsworth, chair of the Vauxhall Public Library Board.
In the meantime, Farnsworth said local residents can expect a sign to be erected advertising the new home of the library before construction begins.
Farnsworth said one point there had been discussion about a new library being part of a new town building if it was built. This is not the case, however, and the library board is responsible for their own funds raised for construction while the Town of Vauxhall has set aside $75,000 and donated the land for the new library.
“The $75,000 came from the sale of the airport,” Farnsworth said.
Farnsworth said the town has outgrown the old library, which lacked the space to take advantage of all the programming and services available. While the old building was roughly 1,500 square feet, the new one will be 2,750 square feet.
“It will have a larger meeting room, larger rest rooms, and be mobility-accessible, said Farnsworth. “We’ll have a specific children’s area, free wi-fi, computer stations, a teen study area, and better storage.” She added there was a better book-drop planned as the current one is simply a slot which lets cold air in, privacy for videoconferencing, and a green space planned outside for library goers to enjoy the sunshine.
The Vauxhall Public Library began as a small children’s library at Vauxhall School in 1948. The Community Library Association was formed in 1963. In 1982, the small library became a public library and was moved out of the school into a rented building. In 1987, the old Transalta building was purchased for $20,000 and renovated for another $10,000. In 1994, the library officially became part of the Chinook Arch Regional Library System.
Farnsworth said the goal of the library is to provide local residents with as much reading material as possible to encourage literacy and lifelong learning; to provide children with programs to help them read and learn.
“We have a vision the new building will be a safe and welcome place to visit,” she said. “A new library will be a hub within the community and a central place for community information.”