Some of the drawings depicting the plan for the new Chemainus library. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Some of the drawings depicting the plan for the new Chemainus library. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus library behind schedule but moving forward

Contractor bids now being accepted by the VRL until Oct. 31

Plans are finally starting to move forward on the new Chemainus library.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library tendered the project Thursday and is accepting bids from qualified contractors until Oct. 31. After that, VIRL will review the submissions and select a firm to undertake the project.

Since both the building and development permits have already been secured, VIRL anticipates a quick transition to having shovels in the ground nce a contractor is selected. Construction is slated to begin late in the year.

With Vancouver Island under a sustained period of intensive development and a longer-than-expected design phase, the project had been anticipated to get under way sooner.

The budget has also increased from the initial projection of $2.25 million to a revised total of $2.7 million as a result of cost increases in the construction market and limited labour availability, according to a VIRL press release. All aspects of the project – construction, furniture, IT infrastructure and more – are included in the budget.

The state-of-the-art library in Chemainus will feature 5,000 square feet of floor space, increased staffing levels, expanded hours of operation, a larger opening day collection with many new materials, an expanded program schedule, more public computers, a vibrant children’s area, a lounging area with fireplace, a laptop bar, study space, a bookable multipurpose room and more.