Kentville council approves former church property for new Kentville library

John Decoste
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Kentville council has joined Kings County council in recommending the former St. Paul and St. Stephen United Church as the site for the new Kentville library.

Town, county on same page for repurposing Main Street property

KENTVILLE - Kentville town council has approved the former St. Paul and St. Stephen United Church on Main Street as the site of the new Kentville library.

At its monthly meeting Jan. 25, town council approved "the Parsons Group site on Main Street" as its preferred site for the town's new library, "subject to negotiating a lease agreement satisfactory to both sides."

On Jan. 22, Kings County council approved the former church property as its choice for the new location of the library. Approximately half the users of the facility live outside town limits.

Even though the site has been approved, Mayor Dave Corkum told those in attendance at the meeting, "it's not there yet. We have to make sure we work out a good lease agreement with the Parsons Group."

Speaking after the meeting, Corkum said the town had previously done a study on the best site for the new library.

The study identified "several options. The church was an option, the Cornwallis Inn was an option, but we decided our first priority was a new building," which would have been located on River Street.

In fact, councillors were prepared at the meeting to accept the recommendation of the Whynot Group to construct a new library building on River Street.

However, an amended recommendation to approve the Main Street site was made, and passed by a unanimous vote.

Corkum acknowledged the former church had been "our second choice all along," and the county's recommendation of the site had turned the tide in its favour.

"There's no doubt in my mind the Parsons Group will do a great job of repurposing the space," he said. "All the users of the Kentville library will be the beneficiaries."

He added, "we wanted a final decision that was best for the whole library community. The town couldn't afford to go it on its own, and we're pleased to be able to partner with the county.

"I hope everyone will look at this for what it is - a win-win for everyone involved, and for the whole library community."

"It's been a long time coming, finding a new home for the library," said Frances Schagen, former chair of the Friends of the Kentville Library committee.

The choice, of both town and county, is "in the downtown core, and in a heritage building that is being repurposed," she said. "Thank you."  

Organizations: Parsons Group, Kentville council, Kings County council Cornwallis Inn Whynot Group Kentville Library

Geographic location: River Street

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Recent comments

  • Llew
    February 10, 2016 - 07:50

    Holy cow! In this day & age in North America we're going to re-use a building instead of building an ugly glass cube and demolishing the old one? Actually create an attraction and make Kentville better with the wow factor of having a church in an old library? Look at you guys! You almost screwed it up and demanded a new monstrosity, but maybe you'll get it right! Point to Kentville!

  • Rita Tibert
    February 02, 2016 - 11:13

    Not totally convinced the United Church is the best location for the library! Though is a great idea to give more purpose for this amazing structure, I think there are a few issues of concern. There will not be enough parking spaces for one thing. The area is already plagued with this issue. This building has a lot of stairs even though it does have an elevator, it has been inconvenient for users in the past! I believe a newer one level, brighter building would be much more suitable. Thank you Rita Tibert

  • Jessica Kennedy
    January 26, 2016 - 19:20

    New buildings are nice but I think to be able to re-purpose an old building that already exists and that people already have a connection too is a great idea!