Islanders quiet about Masset library plan

Masset councillors welcome more feedback on early plans for new branch

Few islanders have spoken up yet about the concept plan for a new library in Masset.

Besides a few suggestions for more windows on the west wall and a more stormproof-looking roofline, Mayor Andrew Merilees said there has been little feedback so far.

“I’m not hearing as much as we thought we would,” Merilees said at a council meeting Monday, noting that councillors will send such comments to the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

The public will get a second chance to comment once a more detailed design, budget, and timeline are ready.

Set to be built along Hodges Avenue just north of Main Street, the new Jessie Simpson Library will be the first VIRL branch based on a concept plan that will eventually be used for other small branches on Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island.

So far, the Masset plan features a recessed and covered entry, glass doors, metal and cedar or “wood look” cladding, plus a roof peak of four metres (13 feet). It was done by Herold Engineering, which also planned the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library.

The new Masset library will have a footprint of 2,780 square feet, compared with the 1,800-square-foot log building on Collison Avenue that was built to house the library in 1980.

A similar concept plan will be used to design and build a new library branch in Sandspit, which may be built on the Agnes L. Mathers Elementary School property.

Although both libraries will be pre-fabricated buildings that share the same concept plan, they are not exactly “off the shelf” — each new branch has a range of design options.

In the case of the Masset library, a third module was added in early planning stages to increase the building size.

According to a VIRL spokesperson, having small library branches pre-fabricated and shipped to rural areas is more efficient and takes less time than traditional construction.

Comments can be emailed to the Village of Masset at

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