Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you building a new library in Campbell River?
The current space does not adequately serve the population of Campbell River. The Board of Trustees developed minimum size requirements as noted in the Consolidated Facilities Master Plan.
Residents of Campbell River need a library that can properly serve this growing and dynamic community. A true 21st Century library provides services and resources to families, businesses and entrepreneurs, artists, Indigenous communities, newcomers, and everyone else in the community.
For a growing city like Campbell River, the new library will become a showcase and centerpiece of innovation, learning, literacy, and connection.
Why was the downtown location selected?
The City chose this location as the most affordable and suitable re-development site within Campbell River’s cultural precinct.
As part of this project, the City of Campbell River is responsible for providing a serviced, construction-ready property. This includes demolishing the existing building, and providing sewage, water, drainage and CR Municipal Broadband service.
The existing property is City-owned, which reduces costs significantly. To develop on a privately-owned site, the City would have the added cost of purchasing a new property.
This location also aligns with Campbell River’s economic development goals and the community’s vision for a renewed and revitalized downtown core.
Public engagement during the City’s Downtown Refresh workshops established this downtown area as the preferred location for cultural facilities and spaces. The library combined with Tidemark Theatre, Spirit Square, the community centre and art gallery are key components of the cultural precinct.
What is the current status of the new library?
We don’t have a firm date for when construction will start or the new library will open.
With the site now selected, VIRL is in the early stages of working with an architect and planning for a temporary location to continue to provide service. The City is actively preparing to demolish the building (scheduled for late 2021). We’ll provide more information as details are confirmed.
What is the budget for the new library?
The budget of $14 million includes the cost of construction, furnishings, and technology infrastructure.
For the new library in Campbell River, funding was secured through a loan from the Municipal Finance Authority to the Strathcona Regional District, who will transfer the borrowing proceeds to VIRL. Because VIRL is a regional system with a pooled budget, the costs of the new library will be shared by member jurisdictions rather than paid for by Campbell River taxpayers alone through their regional district contribution.
Campbell River is one of 38 municipalities and regional districts, with a total population of almost 465,000, that comprise VIRL’s membership. As a co-op, members pool their resources to cover the costs of library services and important Capital Projects like the one in Campbell River. This sustainable costing model has allowed VIRL to build or refurbish 17 libraries since 2011 in communities large, small, and remote.
Once the new library is built, the City of Campbell River has committed to providing a no-cost lease to VIRL.
Who is preparing the site for construction and what are the costs?
The City of Campbell River’s 2021 budget includes up to $798,000 for site preparation work. This funding comes from the Downtown Tax Exemption Reserve rather than from residential property taxation. Work to prepare the site includes environmental, geotechnical and hazardous materials assessments, modifications to the Tidemark Theatre, building demolition, and site servicing connections to water, sewer and CRadvantage, the municipal internet service.
How much did Campbell River contribute to VIRL in 2020?
Campbell River’s annual contribution to VIRL was approximately $1.6 million.
Because of VIRL’s pooled funding model, the costs of the new library will be shared by all member municipalities and regional districts.
Will I have an opportunity to provide feedback about the new library?
Yes, VIRL and the City of Campbell River will provide opportunities for public feedback and ideas.
We are in the early stages of planning our public engagements and will provide more information as planning unfolds.
As part of the public engagement process, people will be able to share their preferences for services, amenities and design elements for the new facility.
Who can I talk to if I more questions or concerns?
If you have questions about the new library (design, services, amenities), please contact:
David Carson, Director, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Vancouver Island Regional Library
If you have questions about the site location, please contact:
Julie Douglas, Communications Advisor
City of Campbell River