Lose the balcony. Replace that fancy exterior siding. Nix some of the smaller stuff.
Those are some of the fancy trimmings the Vancouver Island Regional Library board has yanked from the $6-million Sooke library project to keep it on budget.
“In order to bring the design in-line with the budget, we made some modifications to the exterior finishing with more cost-effective elements that are still of high quality and aesthetic value. We also removed a balcony from the rear of the building, among other small modifications,” said David Carson, VIRL’s director of communications and strategic initiatives.
“The resulting design aligns well with the District of Sooke’s official community plan and the district’s vision for new construction projects.”
Revisions to the library’s development permit were submitted to the District of Sooke this month. District staff will review the application and if no further revisions are needed, the application will be presented to council for approval.
“We recognize that the public is eager to see the new Sooke library take shape,” said Brenda Leigh, VIRL chair.
“VIRL staff is working closely with the District of Sooke to get the development permit approved as soon as possible and are confident in the road ahead.
Sooke has wanted a new library for more than a decade, but the process has sometimes been fraught with political indecisiveness and unforeseen delays.
The project appeared to move ahead two years ago when the municipality bought Lot A on Wadams Way, but delays in that then centered on a possible location to SEAPARC.
The project was further delayed in late 2017 when the regional library needed to do emergency repairs on other branches. Expectations were Sooke library construction would begin in 2019.
Vancouver Island has been under a sustained period of intensive development for some time. This, combined with a longer-than-expected design phase, caused the timeline to shift from earlier projections.
“Capital projects of this magnitude are always challenging,” said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait in a press release.
“I have been impressed by the agility, adaptability, and resilience of VIRL and district staff to navigate the complexities of this project.”
Construction of the new library is expected to begin later this year. It will take up to 1½ years to complete.