Volume 93, Issue 73

Wednesday, February 9, 2000


Public library moves to mall

New degrees fall under community microscope

Gay meds face classroom barriers

No cheering as hackers shut down internet search engine

HRDC grant money questioned


Back Asswards

Caught on campus

Public library moves to mall

By Tola Afolabi
Gazette Staff

London's city council made a decision this week which will give mall rats an educational stop when they shop.

At Monday's council meeting, it was decided the London Public Library would move from their downtown location on Queens Avenue into Galleria London by June 2001, said Gordon Hume, library board chair and city councillor for ward 7. The library's new home will take the space of the vacating Hudson Bay Company.

Hume said the project will cost $22.7 million and will include upgrades and renovations which will take approximately one year to complete.

A lack of space and poor electrical outlets were two reasons the library decided to make the move, explained Lynda Kirkham, communications officer with the library. "The building that we're in right now was opened in 1940 – it's an old building," she said.

Kirkham said the Galleria location best met the library board's criteria. "A lot of sites were looked at, including the possibility of building from scratch or renovating the present library."

The library will pay $5.2 million for The Bay's 181,000 square foot location and surface parking on Wellington Road and Dundas Street, said John Dennis, director of property with RHK Capital Inc., the company which owns the mall.

Dennis added The Bay will vacate the Galleria site by the end of March, after which some remedial work would be done before handing the space over to the library on June 15.

In order to end their lease, The Bay agreed to contribute $700,000 in funding to the library, Dennis said.

Tammy Smitham, corporate communications officer for The Bay, confirmed the donation, but refused to comment on the terms of the agreement.

The deal can only affect downtown in a positive way, Hume said. "I think it's a very important step to rejuvenate the mall. We bring about one million people per year into the downtown area," he said.

Kirkham agreed and said shoppers would visit the library. "Galleria is trying to position itself as a people place [by mixing] retail stores and other organizations that serve the public," she said.

Cathy Stansell, retailer at Kathleen Dunning in the Galleria, was not convinced. "I think it's a good idea – it'll bring people, but whether it will bring people with the intent to spend money is another thing," she said.

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