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Updates and News

September 1, 2016

Next Steps for the Central Branch Design

During our public consultation from August 10-16th, we received many comments and 149 votes on the exterior design concepts from library patrons, members of the Heritage Kingston committee, and other interested parties.

We have reviewed all of the comments, questions and concerns and are moving forward with an application for a heritage permit. This application will go to Kingston City Council at their meeting on September 6th. A heritage permit is required as the Central Branch is a designated property under the Ontario Heritage Act and because the branch is located in the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District (HCD) and noted as a significant building in the HCD.

Over the past two weeks, we have been working very closely with the City's planning department to come up with a balanced solution that will fulfill the needs of a modern library and, at the same time, conform to the guidelines of the Old Sydenham HCD plan. 

Feedback and guidance received from the planning department have resulted in a decision to go forward with a design that aligns with our location in the heritage district. This design retains the entire arcaded walk and arched window pattern of the original facade. We have been given to understand that, under the guidelines of the Old Sydenham HCD plan, alterations of the arcaded walk and arched window pattern of the original facade cannot be made. This design also allows us to retain the honey locust tree in the corner parkette.

The design that conforms to the guidelines of the district plan will still offer a relocated entrance for improved accessibility and secure access to the meeting rooms after library hours. Some roof modifications are included in the design to keep ice and snow from falling on the walkway below and to improve drainage. Reconstruction of some upstairs windows is also being requested to provide proper drainage and a more efficient thermal seal, with a view to long-term building preservation.

The Library will be bringing a delegation to Kingston City Council at their meeting on September 6th at 7:30 p.m. as part of the heritage permit application. City Council meetings are open to everyone and the public is encouraged to attend, watch online or on Cogeco or to follow the City’s Twitter coverage of the meeting at Twitter.com/kingstonmeeting or through the hashtag #ygkc. More information about City Council meetings can be found on the City of Kingston's web site.

Once the heritage permit issue has been issued, we can move forward with finalizing the interior designs and our web site will feature regular updates on the progress. We have already received many suggestions that will be considered as we move forward. We are currently working on the answers to questions brought from the public about the interior of the building and will be updating this page with those answers on September 12.

Download Report 16-225 Application for Heritage Permit for 130 Johnson Street (pdf)

August 10, 2016

View the Central Branch Designs

Designs for our new Central Branch are now available for viewing! Changes to the interior layout will help us better serve and connect with our community.

Reflecting our heritage designation, our architects have created two designs for the façade incorporating feedback from Heritage Kingston. Download this updated presentation (accessible version) that reveals interior floor plans, façade options and the inspiration for our renovations.

Display boards from the architect are currently on display at the Central Branch, and members of the public are invited to drop in beginning August 10 to view the designs and vote on which one you like best.

The Central Branch Renovations Committee will host two public information sessions on Tuesday, August 16 from 2-4 pm and 5-7 pm. Community members are encouraged to drop in, share your questions and concerns with us, and let us know which design you prefer! Can’t make it into the branch? You can always fill out our Contact Us form or just email your thoughts to centralreno@kfpl.ca. While voting is now closed, we always welcome questions or feedback by email or through the webform.

July 20, 2016

Heritage Update

Because of the building's heritage designation and location at the edge of the Old Sydenham Heritage Conservation District, we must receive approval from Kingston City Council before any alterations to the exterior of the building are made. 

Plans were submitted to Heritage Kingston for review at their July meeting in advance of our presentation and report to Council in August. We received some feedback at the meeting and have received some written comments since then. We are currently working with our architects and City staff to revise the design based on some of the feedback.

July 14, 2016

Movin' on Up!

We are pleased to announce that Kingston City Council approved our request to lease temporary office, warehouse and storefront space at their meeting on July 12, 2016. We will operate from these spaces while the Central Branch is being renovated in 2017-2018. They also approved our request to transfer funds from the Library Capital Reserve Fund to cover the leases, lease hold improvements and moving costs.

Our downtown storefront location at 209 Wellington Street will have a small collection of popular materials, computer and wireless Internet access and serve as a reservation pickup location.

Our administrative offices and warehousing space for the bulk of the Central Branch collections will be located at 18 St. Remy Place. We are committed to maintaining access to our collections during the renovations, and will relocate some unique collections, such as our local history and genealogy resources, to other branches during the closure. The rest of the collection will be available through our usual reservation processes and can be delivered to any branch in the KFPL system.

June 24, 2016

First Update

Welcome! Now that the plans are coming together, we are excited to share some of the details of the Central Branch renovation project with you. We’ll post regular updates as the designs are finalized, the project is put out to tender, the library closes and moves to our temporary location and throughout the construction.

Due of the scope and nature of the work being undertaken inside the building, closure of the building is the safest and most cost-effective way to complete the project. November 26th will be the last day of operation. We’ll pack and move during December, and construction will start in January. Construction will last approximately 12 months. We’ll need some time to get all the shelving and furniture installed and the materials on the shelves, so we are anticipating re-opening in early Spring of 2018.