$2.5 million earmarked for library addition

A US$2.5 million grant has been earmarked to build an 11,000-square-foot, three-storey extension to the George Town public library, Legislative Assembly was told on Wednesday.

The existing building would serve as an ‘historical entry piece’ to the new facility, Minister Alden McLaughlin told the House.

Answering a question from Sister Islands MLA Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, Minister McLaughlin said the ground floor of the new facility would consist of a children’s and young adult book source, book circulation and circulation desk and an audio visual room.

The second floor would house other books and the third floor would be for administrative offices, reading spaces and a multi-purpose event room which could be rented out, he said.

Mr. McLaughlin told the House that the last government had confirmed to Maples Foundation acceptance of an offer to provide US$1.5 million for the construction of a new wing at the library.

Plans were submitted to the Planning Department for the new addition and planning permission was granted in principle subject to the demolition of buildings on the site, save the building formerly used by the Cadet Corp, he said.

‘The necessary decision by government for demolition of the buildings has never been taken to satisfy the planning authority’s requirement and thus final planning permission has never been granted,’ Mr. McLaughlin told the House.

‘However, considerable preliminary work has been done and significant funds have been expended on the project,’ he said.

Maples Foundation had subsequently decided to increase its grant to US$2.5 million and the grant had been earmarked for the addition to the library, said Mr. McLaughlin.

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