Kentville’s search for new library site continues

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on April 1, 2015

KENTVILLE – Some way, somehow the Town of Kentville plans to find a new home for its public library.

That’s the message Mayor David Corkum drove home in responding to a citizen’s request for a status update on Kentville’s library, an Annapolis Valley Regional Library (AVRL) branch due for relocation as a result of a Cornwallis River bridge replacement project slated for the 2016 construction season.

“We will be getting, in one way or another, a new library,” said Corkum in fielding a question from Kentville resident Lynn Pulsifer. 

There are a number of options to consider, Corkum said.

“We’ve got a couple of locations that the library could go in as a rental, but we’d prefer not to do that.”

The push for a new library in Kentville is nothing new. A group of citizens dubbed the Friends of the Kentville Public Library Society tried to make it happen, but to no avail.

The Town of Kentville’s recent search for a new library site now comes at a time when AVRL, currently located in Bridgetown, is also planning to move its headquarters.

The town is interested in a partnership that would result in the Kentville branch sharing the same building as the AVRL headquarters, Corkum said.

“At the end of the day we’re hoping that’s what will happen because it will be a bigger, better, nicer facility.”

The deadlines for bids in response to a request for proposals (RFP) issued for the AVRL headquarters was set for April 1 at 4 p.m.

A number of factors will be considered when the proposals are evaluated, including location, the condition of the building or space available, site specifics, price, the quality of the proposal and the economic impact on AVRL.

The RFP states that AVRL is seeking a barrier free, wheelchair accessible space located in West Hants, Kings County or Annapolis County.

The space must be about 5,500 square feet and large enough to house 22 workstations, the RFP notes. AVRL is seeking a lease that will be good for at least five years.

“Preferred occupancy is March 31, 2017,” the RFP reads.

The Annapolis Valley Regional Library Board Headquarters Committee will evaluate eligible proposals. According to the RFP, it is anticipated a decision regarding the new site for the AVRL headquarters will be made at the June meeting of the AVRL board.

“The Kentville Branch is one of our busiest branches and in 2013-14 they circulated 82,921 items and had 5700 active users. They certainly need a new location and it is the responsibility of the Town to provide the facility,” said interim AVRL CEO Lorraine McQueen, in an email.

“However, the Kentville situation is only one possible proposal and it is useful to point out that the AVRL board does not have to decide to take up any of the responses to this RFP.”

Corkum is hoping the Municipality of the County of Kings will decide to partner with the Town of Kentville to assist with the relocation of the local library.

“It really is a Kings County library rather than a Town of Kentville library,” said Corkum.