NEWS RELEASE: Wednesday June 27, 2012
“No Plan, No P3 for Library”
REGINA — The Friends of the Regina Public Library were astonished Tuesday afternoon to hear that the Regina Public Library now has no plan for the rejuvenation of Central Library.
The Regina Public Library Board disclosed it had spent about $400,000 on feasibility and design studies, which became largely useless when the Masons declined to sell their neighbouring building. The work apparently provided no alternative plans, according to the Library Board Chair.
While the Friends would like to retain the existing Central Library building for heritage and environmental reasons, the need for some major renovations is pressing. There is a need for new elevators, a new heating system, a functioning accessibility ramp and many other upgrades.
“We find it troubling that is no alternate plan. These problems have been documented for many years,” said Jim Holmes, member of the Friends of the RPL.
The Library did commit to release the report detailing the reasons why the Board feels that the Central Library needs to double in size.
The Friends were happy to hear the Library Board has abandoned a public-private partnership (P3) for the Central Library. Chairperson Darlene Hincks Joehnck claimed the Friends would never understand P3’s but evidently she understands them well enough to know it is not a good idea for the Regina Public Library.
Without a plan, the Board does not foresee any public consultations over the summer.
“We are pleased that the Library Board has informed us that it will not be pressing for quick decisions and holding hasty consultations during the summer, a time when it is difficult for the public to participate,” said Joanne Havelock, Chair of the Friends. The Friends are hoping this means there will be no decisions made on Central Library until after the October Civic Elections.
The news was revealed at an RPL Board meeting held on Tuesday, June 26 after repeated requests from the Friends for information about planning for Central Library.