St. Vital Library shows off new features after 2-year, $2.6-million renovation
New space boasts more natural light, addresses accessibility issues
After two years and two phases, the renovations for St. Vital Library are complete.
A grand opening ceremony was held Monday for the renovated space, which features a new entrance, accessible shelving and collections layout, a 24-hour book return, new skylights, furniture, flooring and roof.
The library's basement has also been redone and now includes four washrooms and a tutorial room.
The space's new elevator was done as part of Phase 1 and opened for use in 2016.
St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes called it an important day for the neighbourhood.
"I am very proud that we have saved the library from closure and renewed it for the next generation," he said.
"I first came to this library when I was a kid in 1970, and now my sons and other students in St Vital will be able to enjoy this great resource."
The library was in danger of closing when Mayes was elected in 2011, he said, but after talking to residents, he and then-councillor Dan Vandal championed renovating the building instead.
The two phases of renovations cost about $2.6 million total, with this latest phase coming in at $1.9 million, said Mayes. Most of the work focused on creating a bright new space that anyone can access.
"The St. Vital Library had some accessibility issues," said Ed Cuddy, the city's manager of library services.
"It was built in 1963 and anytime you have a facility that old there's a need to bring it up to date, make it more accessible to the community."
Several other city libraries have been renovated or are closed for renovations right now, said Cuddy. Pembina Trails will be closed for three months for a small project, Cornish and St. John's are both closed for major renovations, and Transcona Library is being replaced completely.
The River Heights and St. James libraries will also see renovations in coming years, he added.
Windsor Park Library was re-opened earlier this year.
Book club member Wendy was wowed by the improvements at St. Vital Library. The site is now more accessible. Here’s a sneak peek at the upgrades. <a href="https://t.co/SeRFIVNYrX">pic.twitter.com/SeRFIVNYrX</a>—@cityofwinnipeg