The McBride & District Library and Valley Museum & Archives are getting closer to moving into their new space on Main St. after some new renovations.

Librarian Naomi Balla-Boudreau says the renovations have gone well and are nearing completion. Renovations include accessibility improvements, the addition of Museum storage behind 521, and a beautiful, framed entrance to the Museum among other things.

Residents may have also noted the “for sale” signs at the old library building and the Annex, as the old buildings are now for sale.

Last year, residents narrowly voted in favour of raising taxes through the Regional District to support a new building for McBride’s library and museum. The two organizations are will now share the larger, newer space at the entrance to town, a building that was empty for several years.

A feasibility study done by Regional District staff said the old library & museum buildings were beyond repair for public use, and identified purchasing 521 Main Street as the least expensive option.

Despite the tax increase, fundraising efforts have continued both through local fundraisers like apple pie sales, a harvest supper and plant sale, as well as grant applications. One resident, Vern Pawloske,raised more than $7,000 single-handedly for the library by collecting pledges for several long-distance bike trips. Another anonymous resident donated $15,000.

While they don’t have a set move-in date, they hope to be moved in this fall.

Balla-Boudreau says there were a couple unanticipated delays: they had hoped to hear back about the Federal Enabling Accessibility grant last summer but did not hear back until mid-winter of 2017. This meant they couldn’t begin the renovations described in the assent vote until May.

Despite the delay, Balla-Boudreau says it’s her understanding they are within budget. She says the library and museum will continue to fundraise for additional furnishings as well as improvements to the outdoor space over the next few years.
“We’ve appreciated the community’s continued support and generosity,” she adds.
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