Slow and steady approach pays off

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With any large project led by a committee representing several groups, there are great challenges to bring everyone to the table to reach a consensus to move forward. 

Such is the case with one of the largest development projects in the Town of Truro and County of Colchester underway today.

And it appears the group spearheading the Colchester East Hants Regional Library project has found the key to success in that regard.

Last week, the updated floor and designs plans for the new regional library at the former Normal College were unveiled to a group of about 70 people at a public meeting held in Truro.

The presentation by the firm MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, working on the new library, was met with overwhelming public support.

The project has begun with the demolition inside the town-owned, century-old, architecturally stunning building in the downtown core. The $7-million renovation project to the mostly brick-based facility is expected to be complete in about a year-and-a-half, opening in November 2015.

In the beginning, it was a slow process for stakeholders to agree upon the location that best suited the needs of library staff and users, along with the community at large.

After years of stalemate votes between the county and the town, a decision was made last October. Days before the final vote, Truro mayor Bill Mills said, “We’ve been discussing the library for 25 years so we’re not rushing into it.”

In this case, it would appear the slow and steady approach has paid off by the show of public support.

The architects are working to maintain as much as if the old Normal College as possible while creating a dynamic multi-use space where library users will have access to modern technology.

Some people believe libraries have run their course and this expenditure is unnecessary. Those naysayers have obviously not benefited from use of its electronic collection, any one of a multitude of programs for all ages or used the community room to host a meeting.

A library is a strength in a community, a meeting place where ‘doers’ come together to advance their education, plan for the future or to just socialize.

We are thrilled to see such great progress in such a short amount of time and look forward to seeing the library enter a new era in service to the community.



Organizations: Normal College, Colchester East Hants Regional Library, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Geographic location: Truro, Colchester

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