DIDSBURY - The Didsbury Library renovation and expansion project has applied for a provincial Community Facilities Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant, say officials.
The project will see the existing library expanded into the adjacent former Town of Didsbury office. A joint effort between the Town of Didsbury and the Didsbury Municipal Library Board, planning for the project has been in the works for several years.
The CFEP large stream funding application was made last week, and if successful, could result in up to $1 million matching funding for the project.
Library board chair Carolyn Massel calls the application an important step for the project.
“The Didsbury Municipal Library board is very excited to be moving forward with this expansion project,” said Massel. “As the oldest public library in the province, the library has a long-standing history of providing excellent service to this community and a larger, brighter space will allow us to further increase the programs and services that are available.
“We are thrilled to continuing working with Avid Architecture to reflect the wishes of our patrons so the this new space will continue to meet the needs of Didsbury and surrounding areas for many years to come.”
If successful, the grant will “absorb a large amount of the cost of this expansion project,” said mayor Rhonda Hunter. “We will now eagerly await and anticipate a positive response to our very thorough and impressive grant application.”
The results of the CFEP application are expected in December.
Ethan Gorner is the town’s chief administrative officer.
“Construction will not start until after the CFEP grant decision is made as expenses before the decision will not qualify for the grant,” Gorner said. “Technically no official budget is approved yet, which we anticipate to be part of the 2022 capital budget.”
Regarding the project’s specs and building plans, he said they are “still being considered and will be finalized after the grant decision and budget is approved.”
The town is expecting to soon release a draft conceptual image of the project, he said.