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Hillsburgh library set for construction

Library - Wellington County held a ground breaking ceremony on March 10 at 9 Station Street, the property that will be transformed from a residence to the new Hillsburgh library. From left: county councillor and library board chair Rob Black, Ed Bordeau of VG Architects, Erin Mayor Allan Alls, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott and Wellington County Warden Dennis Lever.  Photo by Olivia Rutt

Hillsburgh library set for construction

by Olivia Rutt

HILLSBURGH - Construction of the new  Hillsburgh library is going ahead, even though the Station Street dam and bridge issue has not been resolved.

Wellington County held a ground breaking ceremony on March 10 to officially recognize the start of construction on the new library.

Wellington County library board chair and county councillor Rob Black said the new building will be the “last jewel” in the county’s library system.

“Situated in a beautiful location, this library will serve the needs of this community and Wellington County for many, many years to come,” Black said.

The library will move from its leased space on Trafalgar Road to the new space at 9 Station Street.

The house on the property will be integrated in the design, which will also  encompass the Hillsburgh mill pond, located adjacent for the library property.

The building was designed by VG Architects.

“VG is honoured and privileged to work with the County of Wellington on a number of projects, this being the latest and greatest we’ve ever done for them,” said Ed Bourdeau of VG Architects.

“It’s a beautiful site and it’s going to be a beautiful building.”

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott praised the county’s library system, adding a library card is the most important card in one’s wallet.

“Your library card opens the door to knowledge, wisdom and the accumulated experience of the generations,” he said.

“It opens the door to the world and everything in it.”

Erin Mayor Allan Alls gave a brief history of the Awrey house property, adding the land was in restrictive private ownership from 1902 to 2016.

“Today, 115 years later, this new library will again allow the Awrey house to be the centre or hub of what makes up a modern community of Hillsburgh and the town of Erin: a library with education, culture and the transportation of ideas and learning via a connected world.”

Alls noted the public discord over the Mill Pond.

“This is a good day. This is something we’ve all looked forward to. I know there’s been lots of dissent and lots of discussion and there still will be, no matter what we do in this world,” he said.

The public has debated - including through many letters to the editor in the Advertiser - whether or not the pond should be drained as part of the ongoing environmental assessment of the Station Street bridge and dam.

While the EA has been filed with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, members of the public have filed a part two order with the Ministry of the Environment Climate Change, which could cause a “bump up” to the EA.

County officials have stated the pond must stay as it is for the library project to continue. County Warden Dennis Lever echoed that sentiment after Friday’s announcement.

“There was some uncertainty at one point about the status of the pond,” said Lever.  “We’re confident now the pond is staying; it is our intention to keep the pond and will resist any effort otherwise.”

Lever added that if there is an attempt to remove the pond, the county “would use any available means we have to resist that.

“It is our pond. We do not believe that someone else can drain our pond.”

The new Hillsburgh library will feature:

- larger, accessible, versatile children’s and adult areas;

- work stations and space for all;

- flexible public event space;

- library makerspace and 3D printing technology;

- fireplace reading area; and

- community kitchen and public meeting space.

The tentative completion date for the Hillsburgh library is summer 2018.


March 17, 2017


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