For immediate release: Wednesday June 26, 2013
Demolishment Only Alternative for Central Library?
Is RPL Board Exercising Diligence in Looking at All Options?
REGINA, SK — At the Regina Public Library Board meeting on June 25, 3013, the status of the Central Library redevelopment project was questioned by the Friends of the Regina Public Library who found that the Library Board currently has not developed designs that would retain the present Central Library building.
With the large project originally envisioned and revealed to the public in 2011 not going ahead due to the Masons’ decision not to sell the Masonic Temple building, FRPL wanted to find out what was occurring with new designs.
According to the Building Assessment prepared by an architectural firm, remodelling and expanding the current Central Library building is more cost-effective – at $79,519,000 it would be much less than the $97,264,250 for a new building.
Central Library is part of the Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District, and is one of the few libraries of its type in the province. A survey conducted by FRPL found that Regina residents were quite concerned that the building could be demolished. The presentation by FRPL on June 25 pointed out that the Design Regina process has developed goals on cultural heritage and cultural planning that would support retaining the heritage of the modernist Central Library building. (See Appendix)
FRPL feels that the Regina Public Library Board should be looking at all options, especially when remodelling the current building would cost less and also retain a heritage building. At the RPL Board meeting the Library Director said the Board would consider FRPL’s recommendations, but did not commit to developing a design that would include remodelling the current building.
“The earlier decision of the Regina Public Library Board to only look at designs involving demolishing the current building was made without public input and discussion,“ said Joanne Havelock, Chair of FRPL. “This is an opportunity for the Regina Public Library to make a name for itself in respecting heritage and culture to produce a design that would be well-supported in the community and the Friends of the Regina Public Library hopes that the Library Board is able to take advantage of this opportunity.”
According to the Library Director, the RPL will be running a survey of patrons over the summer. Consultations looking at building designs are not expected until the fall. FRPL has asked the RPL Board what kind of consultation process would occur, i.e. will there be a single public meeting or a series of meetings and how participants will be able to share their views.
The RPL Director clarified that the Board did not make a submission to the federal Public-Private-Partnership fund this June, but could not say whether it would or not it would consider doing so in the future. The survey conducted by FRPL found that Regina residents felt that the library building should remain publicly-owned.
For more information contact:
Joanne Havelock, Cell 535-9570, Email frpl(at)sasktel.net
Design Regina Goals
Goal #1 – Conserving Heritage and Supporting Cultural Development
Conserve cultural heritage and support cultural development to enhance quality of life and strengthen community identity and cohesion.
8.1 Build partnerships and work collaboratively with community groups, other levels of government, and the private and voluntary sectors to encourage cultural development opportunities.
8.2 Collaborate with partners to encourage awareness and understanding of cultural resources and cultural heritage.
8.3 Identify, evaluate, conserve and enhance cultural heritage to improve quality of life and reinforce a sense of place.
8.4 Develop a framework of representative heritage themes that reflects our cultural identity and the diverse values of residents.
8.5 Ensure that the list of historic places recognized within the Heritage Property Register and Heritage Holding Bylaw adequately represents of the themes in the framework;
8.6 Require a cultural resource and heritage assessment to recognize historic places in new greenfield development and intensification at the City’s discretion;
8.7 Identify, and prioritize and develop locations that provide a sense of arrival and departure into significant cultural landscapes.
8.8 Refine the municipal financial incentive policies and programs to encourage the conservation of historic places.
Goal #4 – Culture and Heritage Planning
Ensure a practice of culture and heritage planning in the city.
8.15 Consider cultural resources and heritage implications in all areas of municipal planning and decision-making.
8.16 Protect, conserve and enhance historic places in accordance with the “Standards and Guidelines for Historic Places in Canada”.
 City of Regina, Design Regina: Draft Official Community Plan, http://www.designregina.ca/wp-content/uploads/DRAFT-OCP-Content-June-4-2-combined.pdf