A new multi-million dollar library is coming to downtown Campbell River.

City council has given the green light to a new two-storey, 20,000 square foot facility planned for the site of the current branch at 1240 Shoppers Row.

Mayor Andy Adams says the project will incorporate major elements to help with the revitalization of the downtown core.

“We know that there have been issues around that property and also inside that property,” Adams says.

“It’s really important, and the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) board is very supportive in ensuring the design will be a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) to have a safe and welcoming facility for people of all ages.”

Adams says he’s looking forward to the new library.

He’s encouraging community members to get involved and participate in future public consultations, to learn how the building design will provide a safe and welcoming environment.

“With Campbell River’s growing technology sector, the timing is right to expand library services. Contemporary libraries offer all kinds of resources, including meeting and digital activity spaces. We encourage all community members to stay tuned for opportunities to influence what’s available in our new library,” Adams adds.

VIRL and the city will host two shared public consultations events.

The first will gather feedback and ideas on the design and features of the library; the second will present the proposed renderings and provide answers to outstanding questions. 

The Victoria-based architectural firm, Low Hammond Rowe (LHR), will design the new library.

VIRL has a successful history of working with LHR in the past on the design of the Nanaimo North branch and the renovation of the Sidney/North Saanich branch.

The library’s $14-million budget includes the cost of construction, furnishings, technology infrastructure, and site preparation.

Funding was secured through a loan from the Municipal Finance Authority to the Strathcona Regional District, who will transfer the borrowing proceeds to VIRL. 

The costs of the new library will be shared by member jurisdictions rather than paid for by Campbell River taxpayers alone through their regional district contribution, as VIRL is a regional system with a pooled budget.

The city has committed to providing a no-cost lease to VIRL, demolishing the existing facility, and to servicing the site with sewage, water, drainage and CR Municipal Broadband service.

Later this year, a meeting between VIRL and the city will review the processes and outline the next steps for the project, including a proposed location for temporary library services during construction as well as construction start date and timeline.