The design of the proposed Summerland Library building has been approved and a development variance permit has been issued.
On Monday, Summerland municipal council passed a resolution which will allow construction to begin at the site.
In addition, the municipality will reallocate $60,000 earmarked for relocating underground utilities to development of the parking plaza.
The library will be constructed on Main Street at Kelly Avenue, at the site where the former Summerland Arts Centre and Gallery and a garage had been located.
The new library will be 743 square metres in area, more than twice the size of the existing library which measures 316 square metres.
The plans for the new library include meeting space, an area for teens and an outdoor readers’ terrace.
The project will be paid for by the Okanagan Regional Library from reserve funds. The land was purchased from Sean and Colleen Greenwood and from the municipality.
Michele Rule, communications manager for the Okanagan Regional Library, said the response to the new facility has been encouraging.
“We’ve been hearing nothing put positive support from our library partners,” she said.
Before the construction work can begin, crews must first demolish the two buildings at the site.
Rule said one of the two buildings on the site, the municipally-owned building which housed the Summerland Arts Centre and Gallery for the past 16 years, contains asbestos.
Mayor Janice Perrino said the need for a new library building has been identified for many years. It was discussed when she was first elected to council in 1999.
Coun. Robert Hacking said the Okanagan Regional Library has moved quickly to get the plans in place.
“I appreciate the pace you have kept throughout this process,” he told library representatives on Monday.
Coun. Orv Robson said the new facility will add to the downtown area.
“The community recognizes the benefits this building will have for us,” he said.
Safety fencing will go up around the site next week and the demolition on the existing buildings will begin soon after that time.
An official groundbreaking ceremony is expected in mid September.
Library representatives hope to have the new building completed in 2015.