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Converting courthouse to library could cost over $2 million

The Region of Queens Municipality has received a consultant’s report on how much it would cost to convert the vacant courthouse into a library. The price tag? Over two million dollars.
The Region of Queens Municipality has received a consultant’s report on how much it would cost to convert the vacant courthouse into a library. The price tag? Over two million dollars.

LIVERPOOL - Moving the library to Liverpool’s vacant courthouse could have a very hefty price tag.

Ever since the provincial government decided to pull out of the historic Queens County Courthouse, it has been vacant, and the region has been trying to find a use for it.

Moving the Library from the Rossignol Cultural Centre to the Courthouse was high on the list – but the estimates are in – and the cost would be over $2 million.

The region had previously asked for request for proposals from community groups to take it over, but received none.

Then council decided to look into moving the library from the Rossignol Cultural Centre to the Courthouse. Currently, the region pays Sherman Hines over $50,000 a year to rent the space. That lease is up in 2017.

The region hired Architecht 49 to do a feasibility study on moving the library.

That feasibility study was presented to council – and the price tag raised eyebrows.

According to the study, it would cost the region $2.2 million to make the courthouse into a feasible library.

“There is concern about the two million dollar figure,” said Deputy Mayor Susan MacLeod. “I really really feel that could be scaled down quite a bit.”

According to the feasibility study, the courthouse would have to be added on to to bring it up to 3,500 square feet.

Mayor David Dagley pointed out that the price would probably grow, not diminish.

“The 2.2 million is an estimate. Keep in mind that when you start tearing apart a building that was built in 1854 expect the costs to go beyond $2.2 million.”

The report was simply for information purposes, it doesn’t bind the region to do anything.

It also presented several options for the vacant courthouse, including selling it at fair market value, selling it at less than fair market value to a qualified organization, or identify a municipal use.

Coun. Brian Fralic expressed concern about the price tag.

“We were just told that we were just looking at whether the courthouse was able to hold the weight of our library books. That was all we were looking at. Now we have a full out drawing. So I’m confused as that is going to the next step,” he said.

“I’m not sure I am liking what I’m seeing.”

Mayor Dagley said the purpose of bringing the report to council was to inform council and the public about how much it would cost. He said no decision will be made, and the issue will come before council again in the future.

Ever since the provincial government decided to pull out of the historic Queens County Courthouse, it has been vacant, and the region has been trying to find a use for it.

Moving the Library from the Rossignol Cultural Centre to the Courthouse was high on the list – but the estimates are in – and the cost would be over $2 million.

The region had previously asked for request for proposals from community groups to take it over, but received none.

Then council decided to look into moving the library from the Rossignol Cultural Centre to the Courthouse. Currently, the region pays Sherman Hines over $50,000 a year to rent the space. That lease is up in 2017.

The region hired Architecht 49 to do a feasibility study on moving the library.

That feasibility study was presented to council – and the price tag raised eyebrows.

According to the study, it would cost the region $2.2 million to make the courthouse into a feasible library.

“There is concern about the two million dollar figure,” said Deputy Mayor Susan MacLeod. “I really really feel that could be scaled down quite a bit.”

According to the feasibility study, the courthouse would have to be added on to to bring it up to 3,500 square feet.

Mayor David Dagley pointed out that the price would probably grow, not diminish.

“The 2.2 million is an estimate. Keep in mind that when you start tearing apart a building that was built in 1854 expect the costs to go beyond $2.2 million.”

The report was simply for information purposes, it doesn’t bind the region to do anything.

It also presented several options for the vacant courthouse, including selling it at fair market value, selling it at less than fair market value to a qualified organization, or identify a municipal use.

Coun. Brian Fralic expressed concern about the price tag.

“We were just told that we were just looking at whether the courthouse was able to hold the weight of our library books. That was all we were looking at. Now we have a full out drawing. So I’m confused as that is going to the next step,” he said.

“I’m not sure I am liking what I’m seeing.”

Mayor Dagley said the purpose of bringing the report to council was to inform council and the public about how much it would cost. He said no decision will be made, and the issue will come before council again in the future.

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