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Demise of city hall annex building paves way for potential new library mixed-use building

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 15th, 2023

The ground will be prepared for a possible new library building near city hall as the annex building is set to tumble.

The city announced it will begin the next stage of revisioning the city hall site to “meet the future needs of the community” with the demolition of the annex building — work which began in earnest last week.

The new space could be re-purposed “for other civic purposes such as a potential new library and housing,” said city communications coordinator Ginger Lester in a press release. 

Once used for asphalt and concrete testing by the Province of B.C., the annex building later housed City of Nelson records and supplies, she related, but it was recently deemed unusable and not economically feasible to repurpose or redevelop.

One year ago the city chose Nelson-based architect Matt Stanley who put together a team and design for a library mixed-use building.

The assumptions for the design of the library project (from TND July 3, 2020) are based on a six-storey, multi-use building with a total approximate area of 50,000 square feet above grade.

The building would include two floors of library and mixed use, with three floors of residential. The library and cultural space would be 1,650 square metres while the residential tower above would offer 2,950 sq. m.

A basement level will accommodate parking, mechanical and electrical rooms, as well as additional flex cultural space.

The project would entail mass timber or hybrid superstructure on a cast-in-place, reinforced concrete transfer slab and sub-grade structure.

The city will temporarily use the cleared site for city hall tenant parking until another development is considered and approved.  

Making it work

A new library has been included in the City of Nelson Library strategic plan for a number of years. Community consultation has been undertaken in the past and received strong support for a new library.

The project would reflect both the city’s Official Community Plan and its zoning bylaws that identify the downtown core as multi-use commercial and residential, a mix which the library project would contain.

Source: The Nelson Daily, March 2022

The picture of the annex building prior to the recent demolition. — Photo courtesy City of Nelson

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