Middleton and Bridgetown propose options
By Heather Killen
While the administration at Annapolis Valley Regional Library is looking to move its headquarters from its current Bridgetown location, it probably won’t be without options for remaining in Annapolis County.
The towns of Middleton and Bridgetown are both looking for places to keep them.
Earlier this year, the subject of relocating library headquarters from its longtime location on Bay Road in Bridgetown was raised.
At the time, Frances Newman reported various longstanding problems with its current location including the travel distance between branches. The library has 11 branches in Annapolis County, Kings County, and the District of West Hants and serves various rural communities with a bookmobile.
During its May 20 meeting, Middleton council discussed the news that AVRL is looking for a new spot to call home. Mayor Calvin Eddy told council that according to a library board member, the ideal location would be centrally located between Kentville and Middleton.
Mayor Eddy added that about five years ago, the library had asked him about possible locations in Middleton, but at that time none were available.
“They need a spot with a parking lot that is large enough to accommodate about 25 vehicles. At the time nothing was available, but things have changed,” he said. “There are some possibilities now. I think it’s a good idea to take a quick look around town and make a list of the spaces that are available.”
Deputy Mayor Dan Smith suggested that staff could compile an inventory of available commercial space in the town and post this list on the town website, so that other prospective commercial tenants can see what’s available.
The Town of Bridgetown is hoping to coax the library into remaining in Bridgetown. During its May 13 meeting, councillors discussed the upcoming move, noting that the building’s current landlord has done everything possible to address the concerns.
Councillor Grant Wright said that he believes the intention is to finish the current lease that is due to expire in 2017, before headquarters will move. If this is the case, there could be an opportunity to submit a proposal to the library board.
In three years, after the new school is built, the elementary school space could be converted into a suitable location for library headquarters. The school offers the square footage needed, as well as office space and parking.