Debate on the 4th floor of the new Aylmer Library continues
Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin says that a 4th floor for the new Aylmer library would not be profitable for 17 years following the opening of the facility. The elected representatives had discussed the subject and the choice was made on three levels: two for the library and one for municipal services. However, many disagree and believe that it is necessary to have this additional space.
Resident Ian Barrette has carefully studied the calculations presented by the City to explain the fact that there will be no additional floor. According to the slide on their website, after the library’s first seven years of existence, 2031 (the redevelopment work should be completed in September 2024), Level 3 employees will be relocated externally on private rental at an annual cost of $660,000.
After 10 years, this expenditure will be equivalent to the price of an additional floor, estimated at $6.7 million. Therefore, it proposes some options for the use of these offices. Gatineau could rent them to community members as it will do with the marina pavilion. More City employees could be placed on the 4th floor and the rent Gatineau would have to pay elsewhere for the relocation is saved. Finally, this space can be a place of consultation like the 5th floor of the current library.
According to this citizen, there will be added value in the first seven years of the building’s existence and it will take much less than 17 years to have a net benefit for the community.
Deschênes District Councillor Mike Duggan points out that according to the City’s consultations with legal affairs, floors cannot be added to municipal buildings and construction cannot be done for private rental.
Mr Pedneaud-Jobin supported it by indicating that this building is not a resource library. Under this condition, a new local library would have to be built to support a 4th floor.
The Aylmer District Councillor, Audrey Bureau, supports another level. “I think it’s a mistake not to build four floors. The city cannot compete with the private sector for space, but I believe there are ample community needs and a gathering place at this key location for the Aylmer sector. I think it would have been totally wise to take the opportunity,” she stated at the public meeting of the City Council on July 2.
Demolition of the building is scheduled to begin in late 2020. (trans.:BA)