December 14, 2016 · 0 Comments
By Mark Pavilons
King City will be home to a modern, state-of-the-art library and seniors centre.
Councillors gave their approval to the project at a special meeting last week. They heard from Alar Kongats, the project’s architect, who took them through a presentation of what the expansion could look like, including concept drawings showing a beautiful, modern building.
“We’re excited about improving our library services while, at the same time, offering a fantastic space for our seniors,” said Mayor Steve Pellegrini. “While there is still a lot of work to be done, we’re on our way to providing an amazing public space that will make the community proud.”
Taking many factors into consideration, such as accessibility, landscaping, community needs and flexibility, the architects propose bringing both the library and seniors centre up to provincial and community standards. Uniting the two facilities will reduce operational costs, share resources and bring the community together.
“The expansion and renovation of the King City branch will provide residents with a 21st century library facility that functions as both a centre of innovation and a vibrant community hub,” said King Township Public Library (KTPL) CEO Rona O’Banion. “The inclusion of the Seniors Centre in this project is a welcome addition that will have many benefits including operational efficiencies, sustainability features and the opportunity for joint programming initiatives.”
O’Banion said library and municipal staff worked with the board of the current King City seniors centre while working on the initial design to address issues such as parking and adequate space for the seniors. After these discussions, the board of the seniors centre voted to relocate to the new library expansion.
Sylvia Pal, chair of the KTPL Board, noted: “The board is committed to ensuring that services remain relevant and reflect the growth and changing needs of the King community. This project began in 2006 with a community needs assessment which identified the future direction of programs and services, and the need for revitalized and updated facilities. The board is delighted that these goals are being realized with council’s agreement to proceed with the King City expansion project. The library board is grateful to have a council that recognizes the value of library services, and on behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank them for their ongoing support.”
The plan is to use the existing library property on King Road across from King City Secondary School. The new, two-level structure will feature many innovative ideas, including a public roof-top garden.
The expansion would see the footprint of the existing building increase from 7,839 square feet to 20,000 square feet. The estimated cost of $9.05 million will be financed through development charge reserves, debentures and tax-supported capital.
The next steps will include more consultation with both the Seniors Centre board and the public.