Côte des Neiges–Notre Dame de Grâce wants plans for old library

By Joel Ceausu

Psst…anyone want a library?

Okay, so technically it won’t be a library anymore, just a 1,727 square-metre property in NDG, just steps from the new NDG Cultural Centre which rendered it obsolete.

The old Benny Library will be emptied out as the transition to the new library at the Centre rolls out, and the borough of Côte des Neiges–Notre Dame de Grâce are looking for ways to breathe new life into it.

Last week the council authorized the public call for proposals, and confirmed that it does not foresee itself as the long-term owner of the property, evaluated at $1.6 million.

The borough favours a community project so the call was sent out to all community non-profits to come up with ideas for revitalization projects.

A selection committee will be comprised of representatives from the neighborhood, borough and city, and will evaluate proposals based on criteria ranging from “quality of the presentation” to financial viability and originality.

The borough is not committing itself to any proposals, nor will it commit funding to any plan, but spokesman Michel Therrien says “it’s too early to say what we will do if this doesn’t produce any results. What we are hoping for is to be receiving some good project proposals.”

The call for proposals will run until March, with public presentation of selected projects scheduled for April 2015 and the committee’s report deposited by May 2015.

The building is in good shape said Therrien, with no major problems, only regular maintenance. The old Benny Library will remain occupied until late 2015 to assure a smooth transition between the old and new library up the road.

The building needs to be repurposed quickly according to borough documents, to avoid vacating it without a solid plan for the future and to prevent it from deteriorating.
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