ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - Annapolis Royal’s little library at town hall is about to start a new chapter in a bigger space thanks to some local vision and funding from all levels of government.
Funding for the $670,000 project was announced Oct. 10 at the town’s amphitheatre, with ACOA chipping in $255,000 to help move the library to the old Annapolis Royal Regional Academy
The project involves upgrading the west wing of the former academy into a multi-purpose community space that will house the Annapolis Royal Library, an auditorium, a gymnasium, and an open workspace.
The project is also supported by contributions from the provincial and municipal governments: $30,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and $40,000 from the Municipality of the County of Annapolis. An investment of $230,822 from the Town of Annapolis Royal and donations totalling $115,290 from the Friends of the Annapolis Royal Library complete the financing for this $671,512 renovation.
According to "This new library will represent a community hub, and we are very excited about this project," said Ann-Marie Mathieu, chief executive officer with the Annapolis Valley Regional Library.
West Nova MP Colin Fraser announced the federal contribution that comes from ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund.
“This strategic investment helps ensure the future of a cultural asset that will benefit the entire community and improve quality of life,” Fraser said in a media release. “I am pleased that the Town of Annapolis Royal has found a modern use for this historically important building, which will result in a diverse range of business and community resources that will boost creative thinking, partnerships and facilitate continued growth.”
“Libraries are much more than repositories of the wisdom of the ages, which they of course need to be, but they also serve as social, cultural, and intellectual hubs, where people’s minds and lives are shaped - influencing the future of our communities and potentially even our destinies,” said Annapolis Royal Mayor Bill MacDonald.
“Investment in the brick and mortar of our new library is an investment in our future - and the future of generations to come,” MacDonald said. “We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of this community by funding agencies and political partners.”
ACOA said this type of modern and up-to-date community infrastructure helps connect people to jobs, provides access to better community services, helps attract new business and investment to the area, and creates economic growth.
“The former Annapolis Royal Regional Academy has a special place in the hearts of so many who grew up in the town and surrounding community,” said Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil in the release. “I’d like to congratulate the town and local residents for their vision on this project and thank the Government of Canada and the municipality for their partnership. This is yet another example of how we can support communities to keep them active, strong, and vibrant.”
“This is what can happen when people come together around a common cause,” said Annapolis County Warden Timothy Habinski. “Strong community support, and participation from all levels of government are making this creative idea a reality.”
“There’s a lot of love in this community for The Academy, which is why we’ve not only saved the building, but turned it into a revenue generating multi-purpose facility that will support business and cultural development in the town,” said MacDonald. “It’s another proud day for the Town of Annapolis Royal.”
The Annapolis Valley Regional Library anticipates completion date will be in late spring or early summer of 2018.