Ottawa

Rosemount library reno could get $400K boost

Residents of Ottawa's Hintonburg neighbourhood will get a peek at updated renovation plans for their century-old public library branch this week.

Additional money would add glass reading room to 100-year-old Hintonburg branch

Seen here in 2015, the Rosemount Avenue location is the Ottawa's Public Library's oldest branch. It's in need of a major overhaul. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC Ottawa)

Residents of Ottawa's Hintonburg neighbourhood will get a peek at updated renovation plans for their century-old public library branch this week, including a glassed-in reading room that will function as a "beacon" to the community.

The Rosemount branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is already in line for a $2-million renovation next year, but architects have found they can only do so much within that budget.

By the time they meet basic building code and accessibility requirements and make other necessary repairs, there's only about $400,000 left for such upgrades as new meeting rooms, an expanded upper level and a dedicated space for teens.

In a report to the OPL board, staff say they've asked the architects to include additional features including an extra 150 square feet of floor space on the main level, more windows for natural light and improved seating.

"The glass reading room would function as a 'beacon' to welcome the community into the branch, and create a more prominent entry," reads the report. OPL staff recommend doing all the renovations at once, rather than in stages.

Upgrades will cost $400K

As with any renovation project, those upgrades come with a cost. The board will vote next Tuesday on whether to ask the city for an additional $400,000 for the extras.

The public will have a chance to see the preliminary designs next week at two open houses, both at the Rosemount branch. 

The first will take place Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., followed by a second event on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. 

The board will then get a final design in February.

It's hoped construction will begin in the spring and wrap up by the end of 2019. 

Phil Jenkins (the former Ottawa Citizen columnist) is the author of "The Library Book: An Overdue History of the Ottawa Public Library". 5:36

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