Library adds to downtown revitalization

In recent months the Summerland Chamber has participated in discussions around the building of the new community library.

In recent months the Summerland Chamber has participated in discussions around the building of the new community library.

The new library has been long anticipated as the current facility is less than half the recommended size.

The new building will be more than double the current size, at about 8,000 square feet and will sit on a 23,000 square foot site.

In the next few weeks, demolition will begin at the Main Street site which is a combination of the former art gallery, the former location of Giant’s Head Automotive and a portion of Kelly Street.

A final step in the process was completed 10 days ago when the District of Summerland’s Design Committee met to review the plans for construction.

The Chamber is also represented on the committee.

This past Monday council granted the development permit.

The new design by Urban Arts Architects uses glass and wood extensively to incorporate light, views and warmth and features a unique parabolic roof to create a dynamic design worthy of its Main Street location.  Extensive landscaping, multiple trees, outdoor furnishings, a parking plaza with stage, xeriscape gardens, a readers terrace that opens to the outdoors and unique landscaping further emphasize the indoor-outdoor connectivity of the design.

This $3.2 million development will bring new life and energy to the east end of Main Street and contribute to a cultural hub at that end.

The Summerland Arts Council has already opened its beautiful new gallery and retail shop kitty corner from the site.

Construction team, Tango Project and Construction Managers, anticipates that 80 to 90 per cent of their services and supplies will be accessed within the Okanagan Valley.

The Summerland Chamber will be supporting their efforts to connect with local trades people and they expect to break ground in October following the demolition process.

The building will be ready for occupancy in late spring of 2015.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is president of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.  All of the members of the board of directors serve as volunteers.