Library board advised to refurbish Rosemount library to save money
Building a newer, bigger branch carries too much risk, report says
- The library board voted on Oct. 10 to accept the recommendation to renovate the existing building.
- Library board chair says new design will include open spaces and meeting rooms.
- A group asking for a new library said report didn't consider the growth of the neighbourhood.
The City of Ottawa should renovate — not relocate — a popular library in Hintonburg because it's the most affordable option facing the aging building, says a new report.
On Tuesday, the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) board will receive a report recommending the least favourite idea put forward by bookworms to revitalize the Rosemount Library.
Richard Van Loon of the Rosemount Expansion and Development Group wanted the city to build a newer, modern library to replace the Rosemount branch, which turns 100 next year.
The citizen's group was in favour of a 10,000-to-15,000-square foot facility, significantly larger than the current 6,089-square-foot building.
A firm tapped to conduct a business case to inform the board on how to proceed explored six options: rehabilitating the existing building, leasing commercial space, relocating and expanding the building, and three scenarios involving relocating the branch to vacant parklands.
After weighing all the options, staff concluded that Hintonburg ranked low in terms of projected service growth compared to other neighbourhoods.
"All six options require a significant financial investment to implement. OPL has an annual pay-as-you-go capital funding envelope of $2.6 million," the report stated.
"With 33 branches, system-wide service pressures, and competing priorities, the preferred option is the one that is the most affordable: to renovate the existing facility."
$2-million cost for preferred option
The preferred option comes with an estimated price tag of $2 million, according to Boxfish Consultants, the firm that made the business case.
At $2.9 million, the option favoured by the citizens' group also turned out to be the most expensive. The analysis by the consultants ruled the first option was the only "affordable" one among the six.
"This option represents the best alignment with OPL's strategic objectives, and is expected to be cost effective and relatively lower risk when compared to most of the other options considered," the report stated.
If approved, construction work on the Rosemount branch would wrap up in early 2020 after an architect is chosen and public consultations are held, according to the report.
The library board also has another renewal project on its hands — a new central branch in downtown Ottawa. That project is awaiting word as to whether the federal government will be a partner on the super-library project.
The Ottawa Public Library board meets Tuesday at 5 p.m. at city hall.