The District of Saanich will spend $2.1 million to renovate the old Emily Carr library for city staff. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

District of Saanich staff will move into old Emily Carr library branch building in 2020

Work has begun to removed hazardous materials and prepare the building for renovations

In 1936, Emily Carr wrote in her journal that “there is nothing to compare with the push of life.”

The artist and author was referring to what she’d observed in the jungle: life finds a way to move forward. The old building that used to house the branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library named in Emily Carr’s honour is doing just that.

After many years of sitting relatively vacant, work is starting at the site of the old branch and bringing new life to the space.

READ ALSO: Former Saanich library branch continues to sit vacant

In 2018, the District of Saanich began searching for solutions to their space-issue in Municipal Hall, said Kelsie McLeod, Saanich spokesperson. Staff from the city presented the option to relocate some staff to the site of the old Emily Carr library branch. The Emily Carr Library was housed on the site from 1972 to 2013. Following a vote by the Greater Victoria Library Board, the branch moved across the street to Uptown Mall — taking some 30,000 books with it.

The location has been used by different groups since 2013, but has sat mostly unused.

In the summer of 2018, the former mayor of Saanich, Richard Atwell, had proposed turning the building into a supportive housing site. He requested that Saanich council consider the concept as a potential solution to the tent city that had formed in Regina Park.

“[However,] in December 2018, council approved $2.1 million to move forward with renovating [the] space and also renovating some areas in Municipal Hall,” said McLeod.

READ ALSO: Saanich plans to turn former Emily Carr library into office space

The building is set to serve as office space for engineering and occupational health and safety staff from the city, she said, and they can be expected to make the move to the new location in 2020.

On Thursday, crews appeared on site to begin the process of preparing the site for renovation.

“Hazardous material abatement is currently underway to prepare the space at 3500 Blanshard for renovations,” McLeod explained. “Saanich is still in the process of hiring a contractor to complete the renovation and we expect this process to be finalized by this fall.”


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Saanich Police receive another report of a cougar sighting

The big cat was spotted in the area near Saanich Road and Blanshard Street

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Most Read