TRURO – There’s a lot going on at the old Normal College these days.
Truro Mayor Bill Mills confirmed with the Truro Daily News construction has started inside the building, which will be the future home of the Colchester East Hants Public Library.
“The committee is working toward approving floor plans, but before we do that, we’re going to host a public meeting so people can come and see what the final plans are,” said Mills, chairman of the library building committee that includes representatives from the town, Municipality of Colchester County and the library. “Before the respective councils approve the floor plans, we want the public to see what’s happening.”
In the meantime, L and R Construction has already begun demolition inside the building so when the plans are approved, work can begin.
“The walls are down and things have been stripped to the brick,” said Mills about the inside of the building. “When you strip things back to the brick, that’s when you’ll find out if there any issues and so far, so good as far as I can tell.”
The inside of the Normal College is pretty dusty with the demolition that’s occurring, with steel beams open to the eyes, plaster stripped from the walls and brick exposed. The demolition is exposing some of the original archway of the building, which was built in 1874 and was first known as the Provincial Normal School.
“It’s quite amazing opened up,” said Mills.
The demolition so far is only on the first floor, with the second floor and a basement yet to go.
Earlier this week, a number of desks and chairs were placed outside, free for the taking. At least one person took advantage of the opportunity, loading about 30 chairs into the back of his truck.
With the public meeting set for 7 p.m. April 3 in the Town of Truro council chambers, Mills said a meeting will soon be established between himself, Janet Pelley of the library and Joel Henderson, a lifelong Truro resident and frequent user of the current library, to plan the formation of a fundraising committee.
“That would be to offset some of the expenses,” Mills said, adding he hopes alumni of the Normal College and Little White Schoolhouse will become involved.
“And we’ve always said that if anybody is interested in making a donation to the project, by all means do so to the town office.”
In a press release issued regarding the public meeting, Talbot Sweetapple, a partner of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects that is designing the new library, said the firm has been working hard with library staff and several committees to arrive at a consensus.
“We have preserved the exterior of the Normal College building while introducing a functional, state-of-the-art library within,” he said in the release. “By strong contrast, the new and modern addition is noticeably different paying homage to both the past and the future. We are very excited to present the design to the greater community.”
IF YOU GO:
WHO: Town of Truro, Municipality of Colchester County, Colchester East Hants Public Library
WHAT: Public meeting to unveil design plans for the new library
WHEN: April 3, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Truro council chambers, third floor of the Civic Building, 695 Prince St.