To the editor – The Monday evening presentations and public comments relating to a location for a new library in Truro impressed me, but I must admit that three items are of concern.
The first relates to estimated turn-key costs for each proposal. At the meeting it was reported that renovation of either the Normal College or the former hat factory/bowling alley will cost about $7 million.
The architect representing the Snook Group emphasized the ‘green’ nature of its proposal for the hat factory/bowling alley, with geothermal heating/cooling and LEED certification.
However, according to their written proposal, shown on the library website and dated July 12 , 2013, this ‘Option A’ is to cost no less than $8,140,000 while the $7 million for "Option B" would include neither the more expensive LEED certification nor geothermal mechanicals.
Secondly, library staff were clearly enthusiastic in their support for the former hat factory/bowling alley proposal and indeed the minute detail in that presentation was evidence that there had been extensive consultation with Colchester East Hants Public Library director Janet Pelley and staff.
It was admitted that similar detailed consultation and collaboration with L&R Construction, the company that would renovate Normal College, did not in fact occur prior to Monday's meeting.
My final point relates to the value we put on ‘heritage.’
Historical and architectural significant buildings all over the world are routinely adapted successfully for modern public, commercial and residential usage.
The Normal College building was once the centre of an internationally-esteemed educational institution and its graduates educated generations of Canadians. Why shouldn't this once proud building be re-vitalized as our regional library?
Such a building, with its exterior refurbished and its interior functionally renovated as a state-of-the-art library, would be the envy of many municipalities and a source of enduring pride for all whose vision made it possible.
S. K. Wynn