Top-tier real estate in the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC) will be up for grabs next year after the library moves to the Riverfront Centre.
This week council took first steps in deciding what to do with the 5,000-square foot space once it is emptied of books, likely in early 2018.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be posted in late spring and two members of Trail council will become part of a special committee meant to help guide the project forward.
“The RFP is to explore some possible options of what the space could be used for,” Mayor Mike Martin told the Trail Times. “So talking to all the stakeholders in the community, looking at what others have done and coming back to council with some potential options, that is what the RFP is for.”
Discussion about re-branding the building as a whole came up during the city’s 2013 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, with the study revealing revitalization was needed to keep the facility relevant in meeting the interests of the community.
The plan recommended the centre’s history be retained and celebrated, but re-energized to increase public use in a way that complements and enhances the downtown core.
“One of the requirements of undertaking this study is to make sure we hear from all the parties who may have some thoughts about how the space could best be used,” said Martin. “We’ve got all this year, the library won’t be moving until January … we are looking at the space now, how we will manage this great space, because it is a prime location.”
In her report to council, parks director Trisha Davison noted a plan was needed to first determine the highest and best use of the vacant library space.
“And second, to review what needs to be done with the spaces available on the main floor of the facility to ensure its continued relevance in meeting the leisure needs of the community today and in the future,” she added.
“The goal of this TMC Revitalization Plan is to assist the city in making informed decisions on the future direction of the facility to ensure efficient use of available resources now and in the future.”
Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff advised the importance of focusing the scope of work so the end result is something tangible.
“This is seen to be “prime” space within the facility with considerable potential,” he noted. “Whether it be used for public services or in partnership with private sector; either from a service perspective or potential lease.”