BRIDGETOWN - It’s official, Annapolis Valley Regional Library headquarters is on the move from Bridgetown to Berwick.
Lorraine McQueen, interim chief administrative officer, says the AVRL board decided April 9 to accept a proposal to work with the Town of Berwick to develop a new space for its headquarters. The location of this new building is still being debated.
“The current lease with Bridgetown Development ends in March 2017 and the board issued a request for proposals to seek options for improving the current headquarters. The board opted for the Berwick proposal, which will develop a new building with shared space with the Berwick Town Hall and the Berwick branch library. “
The board has been considering a move for the past four years and ordered a feasibility study to determine the best space for the organization’s needs. The study made a list of recommendations and earlier this year, advertised invitations for site proposals.
McQueen said that six proposals were submitted by the April 2 deadline and the committee evaluated them and eventually recommended the Berwick location to the board.
“The board wants staff to have a convenient and healthy work space. Previous studies concluded that improvements were necessary,” she said. “All municipal units in the Valley, the current landlord, and commercial developers were invited to respond to the RFP.”
Evaluation factors that were considered in the decision included: the cost per square foot, the economic impact on AVRL, ease of access to the Highway 101, adequate heating and air conditioning, as well as a modern office space. She added the move will likely take place sometime in 2017.
“The board is conscious of the impact its decision will have on the county, but other considerations needed to be taken into account,’ she said.
Library headquarters is currently located at the Trojan Sports Centre building on Bay Road in Bridgetown.
Don Clarke, mayor of Berwick, said he is “extremely pleased” Berwick was chosen.
“We are doing this in conjunction (with) replacing our current town hall,” Clarke said. “It’s in dire need of renovations.”
Clarke said the location for the new building is still being debated but the Town of Berwick has issued expressions of interests for residents to suggest building locations.
The call date for the expression of interest is May 14.
“We hope to start the development for the building later this year,” Clarke said. “If we can’t get the ball rolling, it’ll be early next year before we do.”
The board’s decision to relocate to Berwick ends any speculation they may join the Kentville branch which is in search of a new location. The Kentville branch needs to relocate as a result of the Cornwallis River Bridge replacement project.
With files from Drake Lowthers, TC-Media