The library moved out of the Trail Memorial Centre in 2018. Since then the space has remained vacant. Photo: Trail Times

The library moved out of the Trail Memorial Centre in 2018. Since then the space has remained vacant. Photo: Trail Times

Trail seeks funds to revamp old library space

The Trail and District Public Library moved to the Riverfront Centre in 2018

After three years of vacancy, the city is moving ahead with plans to revitalize the former library square-footage in the Trail Memorial Centre.

Proposed work includes replacement of the library roof assembly, demolition of the inside space, new lighting, and store front windows.

First, however, is the matter of applying for money to do the first phase of the job, estimated to cost $672,000.

At the Feb. 8 virtual governance meeting, Trail council agreed for parks director Trisha Davison to seek money through a funding stream called Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Covid 19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream.

This particular grant supports projects that involve retrofits, repairs and upgrades to local government buildings, like the former library.

Notably, if the city is successful in its application, this grant would fund 100 per cent of eligible costs.

As far as the locale, when the library first moved to the Trail Riverfront Centre, the city took a good look at what would work best for the space, including the idea of leasing it out to a third party.

When nothing came to fruition, this idea changed somewhat. Of course, COVID-19 changed everything because the Trail Memorial Centre was shutdown to the public for several months and even now it is on tight restrictions, such as all use is by bookings-only.

Revamping the old space is still deemed a priority amid pandemic for a number of reasons, mostly because it’s prime real estate in a key municipal building.

“The thought of having a third party occupy this space has changed over the years,” Davison told the Trail Times. “At this point, our primary purpose for this project is to make the space suitable for public occupancy which would mean it would be usable for all kinds of purposes. This could include enhancement to our own programming, such as fitness, children’s activities, and birthday parties, as well as provide a mid-sized rental space in the building,” she said.

“It is a prime space in one of our main recreation facilities and the space is seen to be key to creating vibrancy within the non-ice side of the building.”

If the city is successful in its grant application, a condition is that the project would have to start before this September and wrap up before the end of 2021.

This particular grant opportunity was announced by the province in December 2020.

While various projects were considered, the Cambridge Dam decommissioning project was deemed the city’s top priority.

Upon further review of the grant program, it was determined that a different funding stream referred to as ARDM (Adaptation, Resilience, and Disaster Mitigation), administered separately through Emergency Management BC, was a better fit for the dam project.

This allowed for another project to be submitted, that being the Trail Memorial Centre – Old Library Retrofit project.

Read more: Take a tour of the Trail museum

Read more: Trail looking to fill old library space

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