November 2023 Update:
After months of work behind the scenes, a design for the Brights Grove Library Expansion including a much needed Community Room, new space for Gallery in the Grove and restoration of the historic Faethorne House is complete and ready for Sarnia City Council to approve.
The Brights Grove Library Committee will deliver their recommendations to council on Nov. 20th and then council will debate it during budget deliberations starting on Dec. 5th.
It's our hope that the city will allocate the funding starting with the 2024 budget so that construction on the project can begin and be completed in 2025 as per the committee's recommendation.
If approved, a Capital Campaign will be launched soon to raise money to support the project.
Once built, the County of Lambton Libraries Division would be responsible for staffing, programming and furnishing the 7,000 square foot library, including the purchase and installation of shelving, tables, chairs, computer, makerspace, audio/visual equipment, library materials, etc.
Gallery in the Grove would relocate to the main floor while the upper floor would be available for workshop, programming space. The Community Room would seat about 80 people and have an endless number of uses for residents and community groups/agencies. Outdoor space can also be used for a number of purposes and the building has been designed with conservation and care for Wildwood Park.
For over twenty-five years, board members from Gallery in the Grove have been advocating the City of Sarnia, for accessibility improvements to the Faethorne House. Board members further realized that this project was not just about access to the second floor. The board recognized that the library was too small and there is no public community room space in Bright's Grove.
In 2017, City Council approved a consultants report recommending all three city owned library buildings be upgraded and updated. In 2019, the board of Gallery in the Grove voted to give the City of Sarnia Ten-thousand dollars to initiate drawings for a larger library which would be fully accessible, a community room and move the gallery onto the main floor of the original building. The city matched the 10k and hired Passa Architects.
In May 2021, city council unnanomously approved that 100k from the federal gas tax rebate fund the city received be designated for Detailed Drawings for this project.
In November 2021, council voted against adding this project to the 10 year capital plan.
In May, 2022, council voted to amend the 10 year capital plan and add this project to the plan.
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