By Marianne Curtis
On September 20, a sod-turning ceremony took place to mark the start of Steinbach’s Jake Epp Library Expansion Project.
The contract was awarded to Boretta Construction 2002 Ltd. in August for the bid of $1,682,091. The project was scaled down to a budget of $1.9 million and approved by City Council in December 2010. The project received a provincial grant of $600,000, and $400,000 in City funds. The remaining costs will come from debt creation.
Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen is pleased to see the long awaited library expansion underway.
“The Jake Epp Library is a well-utilized facility in our region and this expansion project will allow the facility to continue to serve both our community and the region for many years,” said Goertzen.
Library Board Chair, Jon Sawatzky was also on hand to celebrate the construction kickoff. The existing library was constructed in 1996 at a size of 800 square meters. The new expansion will be 590 square meters, for a total size of 1390 square meters.
“This project started out as a dream and has been vigorously been pursued by staff and several generations of board members,” stated Sawatzky. “They have contributed countless hours of planning and strategizing with hope of seeing this day. The journey has not always been smooth, but the contributions to our community will be well worth the effort. We can enjoy this great achievement as we see the project starting to take shape.”
Head librarian Loraine Trudeau is also excited to see construction begin.
“It’s an exciting day for the library staff,” added Trudeau. “I would like to thank all of the current and past board members of the Jake Epp Library, who worked so tirelessly to grow and promote library services in Steinbach. I would also like to thank Mayor Chris Goertzen, members of City Council and library staff, and all others in the community who adopted the cause of an expanded library, and championed it all the way to this celebration day.”
Demolition began the week of September 12th, and construction is set to begin the week of September 26th. Completion is anticipated for fall 2012.
Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen, Library Board member Barb Guenther, Councillor John Fehr and Loraine Trudeau (Head Librarian) turn the sod to officially kick off construction on the Jake Epp Library Expansion.