A key milestone has been reached in the project to build a new, state-of-the-art library in Kaslo.
“We are thrilled to have completed payments for the site in an ideal location in downtown Kaslo. We can now ‘burn the mortgage’ on the land, and focus on raising funds for planning and building the new library,” said Anne Heard, Kaslo and District Public Library board chair.
The KDPL board has worked closely with the Village of Kaslo to replace the current library on the ground floor of City Hall, which is just one-third of the ideal size to serve the needs of the community and region.
The parcel of fully serviced, open land at the corner of Front and Fifth streets was purchased in September 2020 by the Village of Kaslo using reserve funds, on the condition that the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) would provide a $180,000 land acquisition grant covering 60% of the cost, and the remaining 40% be raised by the KDPL board through fundraising projects, donations and other grants.
The new library will be a cornerstone of Kaslo’s downtown heritage setting, and a focal point of community activities and life-long learning. As provincial library legislation does not allow library associations to own land or buildings, the Village of Kaslo will own the land and new building, and the library will lease.
The highest-profile event so far in the campaign was an online auction in the spring of 2021, where more than 100 people donated items and a strong volunteer team helped to raise $26,700 (after expenses) through item bids and additional cash donations. These funds, along with $90,300 in individual donations and a $3,000 grant from the Community Fund of North Kootenay Lake Society (CFNKLS), enabled the KDPL board to complete repayment of their $120,000 commitment to the Village.
“We heartily thank the Village of Kaslo for a strong and healthy partnership, as well as CBT and CFNKLS for ongoing support. Many thanks also to our fundraising committee and auction volunteers, as well as donors, who range from individual private donors to groups and businesses, local and beyond,” said board chairman Heard.
“The Village is pleased with the public’s interest in the new library which allowed for the prompt completion of the first phase of this project,” said Kaslo’s Mayor, Suzan Hewat. “The Village appreciates and values its partnership with the KDPL board to improve library services for our residents.”
In addition to Village of Kaslo residents, the library serves Regional District of Central Kootenay Area D residents, in a vast service area of 5,786 square km. Much of the volunteer support and donations have come from residents of Area D.
Updates on the new library project are regularly posted on the library website (kaslo.bc.libraries.coop) and the community bulletin board at the new library site.
Kaslo & District Public Library