A concept drawing for a new Carlisle Library, attached to the existing arena. – submitted photo
The Hamilton Public Library board has unanimously approved a new library for Carlisle.
Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge made the motion to build a new library after securing $1 million in funding for the project from the proceeds of the sale of the Hamilton Technology Incubator on Innovation Drive, which closed at the end of August.
“Council approved that it be put up for sale and that $1 million of that would go specifically to the Carlisle library,” she said, adding while the library will have to input money for the project, it’s not an onerous amount. “It makes it now a doable project.
“We’re hoping to do that in 2019.”
A feasibility study for the new library, which will be built as an addition to the Carlisle arena, was approved by the board in April.
The study, which included a concept schematic of what the building could look like, identified the need for an approximately 3,000-square-foot building.
The proposed design included a community use or student study room, which will make the arena and library a community hub of sorts and Partridge said the new library is expected to be very similar to the concept.
Partridge added the budget for the project is expected to be between $2.7-3.1 million.
Following the unanimous approval, library staff and city staff will work together to move forward on the design and cost estimates for the project, she noted, adding the board believes it can build the project for less.
“We’re getting down to refining the numbers and refining the design,” she said.
Partridge said a new library has been a long-term project for Carlisle, adding a group of residents has been working at it for more than 10 years.
“The portable that is the current Carlisle library is coming up to the end of its life … within the next three to five years,” she said.
She noted a key component in getting the library approved was the influx of young families in Carlisle, which provided a business case for a new facility.
“One of the important factors in that has been the turnover of families in Carlisle,” she said. “We’ve had a number of people retirement age that have moved on and coming into the homes are young families.
“Particularly in the last five years, the numbers have been getting pretty strong.”
Partridge said the library board had to get funding before they could put the project forward, adding the city sold the Hamilton Technology Incubator to Clearcable.
Partridge noted the discussion took place in camera, but the closing of the sale took place Aug. 30.
As part of the sale, the Hamilton Police Service is permitted to retain their office space, as well as the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce.
The key to moving the new library forward is to have the project shovel-ready, Partridge added.
“We want to make sure we get to the point of being shovel-ready so it can be put on the priority list for funding when the infrastructure dollars are available,” she said, adding the timelines depend on that funding. “I’d really like to have the groundbreaking next year and get into construction in 2019, but that’s kind of a moving target right now.”