If completed the Revelstoke library’s RevLab will include a virtual reality headset. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

City contributing $50,000 of forestry corporation money to Revelstoke library expansion

The library needs more space for their Columbia Basin Trust funded technology lab

Revelstoke City Council has agreed to support the library’s RevLab project with funds given to the city by the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation.

The Okanagan Regional Library is currently working to raise money to build an addition to their current space to house a technology lab, which they have grant money to equip from the Columbia Basin Trust.

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s Library Learning Lab Fundraising Campaign Gaining Momentum

Council voted unanimously to contribute $50,000 to the project, which city staff are estimating will cost between $170,000-$200,000.

According to a staff report on the project put together by Laurie Donato, director of parks, recreation and culture, the only option is to add on to the building–all closet space and rooms used for meetings are currently at capacity.

She brought forward three options in the report:

  1. An addition to the main floor of the community centre.
  2. An additional floor added to the community centre.
  3. A portable purchased and placed in the parking lot.

Donato provided a rough cost estimate of $425 per square foot for the main floor addition, saying she pulled that number from another Parks and Recreation Complex she was working with an architect on.

“It could be high, which I am hoping it’s higher… when I compare the two projects it seems it would be a bit high for the project at the rec centre,” Donato said at the council meeting.

Councillor Cody Younker and several others expressed hesitancy at giving the library money, questioning what would happen to it if the project didn’t move forward.

Because although the money is coming from the Revelstoke Forestry Corporation and not taxes collected by the city, “It is important to note that the taxpayers own those dollars, as a city owned (corporation),” Coun. Younker said.

READ MORE: New chairlift and beginner zone announced at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The motion read that the money be used to assist with construction costs–it is not a grant for indiscriminate use, said Coun. Steven Cross. However, Younker questioned whether or not council should put a timeline on when the funds need to be used.

Donato recommended the city be gracious with the timeline, but added the library needs to recognize that there is a timeline for the city when it comes to planning and construction.

Donato said the money will be added to the Parks and Recreation capital plan and the funds will be allocated as they are needed.

Earlier this year, the Columbia Basin Trust announced that it was giving $127,000 to the Revelstoke library for technological resources including cutting machine, digitization station, recording studio, virtual-reality headsets and a renovation to the library, among other things.

READ MORE: Revelstoke library receives funding for technology upgrades

However, the funding covers only the cost of the equipment and the library was left to find the space on their own. They have turned to the community and the city for those funds to make it possible.



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