Feature Story                                                                                                  Saturday March 31, 2012


The Final Chapter

Chilliwack turns a page in history with new Sardis Library

Craig Hill/Voice photos


Some of those who had a hand in developing the Sardis Library in Chilliwack take a moment for the cameras Monday.

n one unified movement, dignitary's shovels hit dirt at a ground-breaking ceremony last Monday to officially kick-off construction on the new $3.4 million Sardis Library.

It was the same type of cooperation that saw stakeholder groups and individuals working with Craven Huston Powers Architects throughout much of the planning process.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz and Rob O'Brennan, Fraser Valley Regional Library Chief Administrative Officer, were joined by city councillors along with several other stakeholders at the event.

No one was happier than Gaetz to see the project come to fruition who referred to the library as the “newest community hub”.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz has some fun breaking sod at the ceremony Monday.

“I dreamed about this from when I first came on council,” said Gaetz. “The library downtown was far too small to accommodate a population that was burgeoning in Chilliwack.”

The project has been years in the making, with Councillor Ken Huttema, city representative on the FRVL board and former Councillor Pat Clark orchestrating much of the effort behind the drive to get another library in Chilliwack.

Gaetz noted that the facility will have access to all kinds of programming and computers, adding that "the best thing of all is that the project is fully paid for."

Gaetz thanked Chris Crossman for his efforts coordinating and overseeing the financing aspects as well as the operations and engineering sides. She also acknowledged Eric Dyck from Titan Construction, FVRL board members and staff such as Nicole Glentworth, Rita Penco and Friends of the Library.

TELUS came through big with a $75,000 donation for the library through their "Phones for Good" campaign which asks people to sign up for a phone plan and $25 is donated to a special fund.

"The funds will go directly into construction, so thank you" she said.

Once the state-of-the-art library at Tyson and Cumberland is complete in July 2013, it will be the crowning jewel in an area already bustling with the activity from amenities like skating rinks, sports fields and a soon-to-be-complete skate park down the block library site.

Architects say it's a sustainable design, which will conserve natural resources and reduce it's annual and operating costs. It's unclear if the building will be LEED certified.

The 10,000 sq. ft. building is feature-laden with multi-purpose community spaces that have doors opening up to the outside so the facility can be accessed after library hours. There will be an adult area with a fireplace and comfy chairs to curl up in with a coffee.

"It's going to be fantastic" said Gaetz. "You'll be able to take the kids there and watch them having fun and learning with the excellent staff that will be there to help them along the way."

Post and beam designs with high ceilings will give the interior a spacious feeling and wall to wall windows will open up panoramic views and let the light in, which completely differs from the past when community libraries were dim and cramped for the most part.

Another space age kind of feature will be book scanner stations situated at the entrances. This is supposed to streamline checking in and out for bookworms and staff.

"We hope that you and your families will take full advantage of this opportunity to come into this building and enjoy all that it has to offer."

For more information about the new facility and a virtual walk-thru of the library, visit: www.chilliwack.com/main/page.cfm?id=2038

See more photos below.

© Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice\



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