Council to consider Bright’s Grove library expansion next month

Concept drawing of the proposed Bright’s Grove Library expansion. Passa Associates Architects image

Journal Staff

The fate of the Bright’s Grove Library expansion could be determined Dec. 7.

The proposal project has been referred to that date, when city council will decide which capital projects to approve for 2022.

The proposal calls for a 7,000-square-foot expansion of the historic Faethorne House on Hamilton Road to create a “community hub” with a larger library and art gallery, elevator and accessible washrooms, and indoor gathering space for youth program, meetings and special events.

Kirsten Kilner Holmes and Mark Moran, who co-chair a community group spearheading the project, told a community input meeting Monday that Bright’s Grove has waited 25 years for the library to be upgraded and made accessible to people with disabilities.

The Grove’s 5,000 residents do not have an arena, community centre, soccer field or baseball diamonds, and the city-owned but inaccessible Faethorne building is possibly its greatest feature, Moran said. “Bright’s Grove has waited long enough.”

The project was estimated at $3.4 million, with residents contributing $1 million from a fundraising campaign. But a more realistic estimate is $4 million to $5 million because of supply shortages and rising construction costs, Sarnia CAO Chris Carter said.