Two years ago, an organization was started in the Village of Clive named the Clive Resource Centre Society (CRCS) and its sole purpose was to create an accessible and sustainable library for the community of Clive.
The current library is located in the Village office basement is said to be inaccessible, explained Val Russell, board member of the CRCS. She said the stairs are difficult to descend due to the width and length of the stairway. The small quarters and large foot traffic in the library create difficulties for those who are interested in hosting events and/or using the library for its designated purpose.
“The decision to upgrade the library is to make it more community friendly. This was a stroke of genius and a blessing in disguise that we have this wonderful level access. I don’t have enough words to explain how wonderful this is. The only reason I don’t go to the library here is because of the stairs,” said Russell.
Due to these issues with the current library, the organization set a course on finding a new space and considered multiple new homes for the library including the Neighborhood Place building in the central part of town and the Urban Market on Main Street. However, none of the buildings were very accessible or were the proper size that the organization was looking for.
Finally, previous owners of the old Clive Fire Hall approached the organization, suggesting they purchase the hall and use it to their needs, which the organization purchased for the amount of $200,000.
The hall was used for countless numbers of small businesses including a printing business, a catering business and a thrift store; all which have moved to different locations in and around the village. However, because of the many businesses that took place inside the old building, renovations were needed to be done in dealing with unnecessary walls and rooms.
The organization hired a contractor which set right to work after the initial purchase of the building in February of this year, and already has made quite extraordinary progress, according to Russell.
Renovations as well as the money to purchase the building came from the CRCS and with financial help from anonymous donors, donations from local communities, fundraisers such as the Cow Patti Theatre Company and many more, explained Russell.
“We’ve had anonymous donors, I think one was in the range of $40,000. Somebody likes to describe us as the ‘little community that can.’”
The move in date for the library is mid-May, respectively, which will allow the new library to transport all books, supplies as well as get their special Internet hooked up into the building.
“We have a grant from Nova Chemicals to bring in the special Internet service which the Province of Alberta states every library needs; Supernet,” she explained. “(The grant) wasn’t specifically for the internet but that’s what we’re using it for and it costs around $25,000.”
Russell said the fast move in date is thanks to the contractor that the organization hired to do the building.
“We have a tentative move in date for the middle of next month, we’ve had about two to three different contractors but this one said that he wanted to just get right on it and he’s very community minded, he’s jumped at the chance to help us stay within our budget and make any appropriate changes that we needed.”
The old library will be turned into storage, according to Russell as the Village office will now be able to use the basement as they see fit.
Not only will the large building be home to the new library, but community organizations including Clive Family Community and Support Services will also be making the hall their new home.
With the renovations quickly making the library a reality, Russell said she is pleased with how the building is coming together and invites citizens as well as those in surrounding areas to come and see the library when it is finished.
“This is the first time I’ve been in here since demolition started and I’m just absolutely amazed, it is so beautiful. I’m so totally impressed with our little community that can.”
Although the Society will not be soliciting donations from the community, Russell said they will accept items such as office furniture like boardroom tables, chairs, cabinets, etc. that will be accepted gratefully by the Society to put into the library if anyone is so inclined.
Although the tentative move in date for the library and the supplies is mid-May, there will be an open house event hosted on Sept. 8th from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. where there will be dignitaries, recognition of donors and more.