A six million dollar library building is coming to Sooke and will be ready to swing open their doors by the time the lease closes on the old library on December 31, 2018. It will be built on Lot A, which is located on Wadams Way directly behind Western Foods.

“Kerrie Reay gave her heart and soul to this project,” said Mike Hicks, CRD Juan de Fuca Director who is also a member of the library board along with Sooke Councillor Kerrie Reay. “It’s a great, great win for Sooke and the residents of Juan de Fuca.” The Sooke Library serves over 15,000 people from both Sooke and the greater Juan de Fuca area.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) held their decisive board meeting today. On their agenda, the options were SEAPARC or leasing a building. Not having a library at all in Sooke was a possible outcome. Sometime between the SEAPARC meeting held on Thursday and today’s VIRL Board meeting, something shifted, and Lot A was put back on the table.

Lot A was purchased for $1.2 million dollars in 2016, with the intention of building a library. VIRL later turned that offer down due to land clearing costs, which was pegged at about $800,000. SEAPARC had offered land at their Phillip Road facility but was considering pulling it from the table to support the District of Sooke, leaving VIRL no option but to lease the land. Sooke Council pulled its support for the SEAPARC location at the March 13 Regular Council meeting. Not having a library in Sooke was also a possible outcome.

The SEAPARC option would have required VIRL to build a two-storey building; Lot A will allow VIRL to build a one storey building, that will be between 10,000 and 13,000 square feet, said Hicks.

At Saturday’s board meeting, Mike Hicks made the motion to have the new library build on Lot A, and Kerrie Raey seconded it. The Board voted unanimously in favour of this option.

“It was a great effort,” said Hicks, and spoke highly of Counc. Reay’s tremendous fight for the Sooke library.

At the last Sooke Council meeting, all Councillors agreed that Lot A was in the best interest of Sooke. VIRL has come on board. Sooke will be getting a new library at Lot A.

~ Britt Santowski with Sooke PocketNews

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