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Didsbury council approves $8,500 for library engineering

Contractors brought in to do an invasive building assessment
MVT Didsbury Municipal Library
A rough floor plan of the library has been created and assessments and recommendations are being prepared. File photo

DIDSBURY - Town council has approved $8,500 for further engineering to be done on the proposed library expansion project.

The move came by way of motion at the recent regularly scheduled council meeting.

The Town of Didsbury and the Didsbury Municipal Library Board have already announced plans for future expansion of the library into the former town office adjacent to the existing library.

The expansion would create more space to accommodate increased usership and programs, said Mayor Rhonda Hunter.

Asked for an update on the project in recent weeks, she said, “We have the rough floor plan and are preparing assessments and recommendations. Where we are right now is the money that we have approved was for contractors to be brought in to do an invasive building assessment and fine tune our structural knowledge of what is inside the walls. 

“That is where they are at right now. They cut a piece out of the wall and they start looking in there.”

As assessment of the roof has also been undertaken, she said.

The next steps include determining if the building is compatible with expansion and “at this point we certainly believe it is,” she said.

“After determining if it is compatible for expansion, then we will start gathering some prices so that we can get the (request for proposal) out.

“It is in our capital budget so obviously what the number comes in at is going to be critical to whether it goes ahead this year. The hope is that the project goes ahead this year but it “certainly depends on those final numbers that come in as to the renovation and expansion costs,” she said.

Council has not yet set a budget amount for the renovation project, said Ethan Gorner, the town's chief administrative officer.

“We haven't budgeted for it yet as we are waiting until we have some cost and budget estimates brought back to council for consideration,” said Gorner.

An update to council on the library project is expected to be made this month.