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New Tottenham Library expected to open in June

March 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In a few months, Tottenham residents can expect more from their local library.

Construction for a brand new 5,200 square foot library branch, which will be attached to the Tottenham Community Centre (139 Queen St N), is set to move quickly until its slated completion in June.

“It’s all connected to that building [community centre], so it’s going to be more of a community hub as well as being bigger and just a better space overall,” said Graeme Peters, Interim Library CEO.

The $1.65 million project – which was started in February 2018 and originally set for completion this January – had delays due to issues around the structural steel subcontractor, according to the Town of New Tecumseth.

“That’s the reason why the date kept being pushed back but that work has been done so the project should be moving quite quickly at this point,” Peters explained.

Meanwhile, the new library branch will have nearly 1,500 square feet of additional space and be in a more central location.

Peters said it will better suit the needs of patrons.

“It’s just going to be a much better space and we can do a lot more in terms of programming and in terms of events, so we’re really looking forward to the new space opening,” he remarked.

The new location is broken up into a few different areas, whereas the present branch – located at the Tottenham Mall – is essentially one large room, making it difficult to run concurrent events or activities.

“We’ll be able to offer multiple programs at the same time or events at the same time because we’ll have those separate rooms,” Peters noted.

“It’s just going to be a much better branch to meet our needs [as staff] and meet the needs of the citizens of Tottenham and New Tecumseth.”

The new library will feature a meeting room, study room, dedicated children’s area, outdoor garden area, and Makerspace with 3D printing and vinyl cutting.

Peters said they’re also hoping to incorporate a music lab at the new location where people can try out musical instruments.

“I mean, the sky’s the limit in terms of what we’ll be able to offer at this new branch,” he enthused.

“We’re really excited to get this technology into the library because we don’t have any of it in any of our three branches at the moment,” Peters added. “Tottenham is going to be the leader in showing us what we can do with this new technology.”

In regards to the project’s construction, the roof is being built over the next week and construction will begin on the interior of the library shortly thereafter, which will move quickly until completion, Peters noted.

“Once the roof is on they can do all the work they need to do inside, so it’s definitely on track to be finished by the end of June [and] that is really good news,” he said.

Meanwhile, Peters stressed that libraries today are much more than just books and movies, as libraries across the province move to a community hub model.

He said the Tottenham Library alone offers various workshops, live concerts, guest speakers, cooking classes, activities for children, special events, and more.

“The library is a place for people to go to integrate into their community and to increase their literacy development, their health and wellness, make citizens more engaged, and help with social inclusion,” Peters explained

“This new branch is definitely going to take Tottenham in that direction so it’s really exciting.”

Peters told the Times he’s happy the project will be complete in June and is eager to see its doors open.

“It’s been long delayed and we’re really looking forward to moving into the new space,” he smiled.



         


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