Monday, December 12, 2022 – The District is sharing this release from the Vancouver Island Regional Library:
[Nanimo, BC] – For library lovers in Sooke, their stunning new library has been an award unto itself since opening to the public earlier this year. Then, at the 2022 Capital Region Commercial Building Awards, Vancouver Island Regional Library’s (VIRL) newest branch was officially recognized as the Merit Award winner in the Community Institutional category. The Community Institutional Award of Excellence went to Tsawout Longhouse, which also won the Judges’ Choice Best Overall entry from 58 finalist buildings.
“We already knew the library was a winner based on the community’s reaction to it,” says Amy Dawley, Assistant Director, Service and Building Design at VIRL. “To be formally recognized in the Capital Region, an area of rapid growth with so many stunning building projects, is a great honour. In accepting this award, I do so on behalf of all the people who helped the library grow from vision to reality. I also raise my hands to everyone involved in the Tsawout Longhouse project. After tragically losing their last longhouse to a fire, their award-winning new space is a testament not only to the beautiful building itself, but to community resilience and perseverance.”
Built on undeveloped District of Sooke-owned land on Wadams Way in the town centre, the new Sooke library is poised to serve the growing community for many years to come. Some of the key features and amenities of the 13,400-square-foot library include:
- Eye-catching circular design
- Vibrant children’s area
- Fireplace lounge
- Laptop bar
- Study space
- Bookable rooms
- Makerspace with a 3D printer and other exciting technologies
“I wholeheartedly congratulate everyone for this well-deserved recognition,” says Jeff Bateman, VIRL Trustee and District of Sooke Councillor. “As one of many local card-carrying VIRL patrons, I cannot say enough about what this shining new library contributes to the Sooke region. The entire project team should be hugely proud of what they accomplished.”
The library also boasts several sustainability enhancements to help ensure its operations minimize environmental impacts. The branch has been built in alignment with the Wood First Initiative, which sources local, sustainably procured wood. The parking area includes three electric vehicle charging stations for public use and one for staff, in addition to high-capacity underground bicycle parking. To maintain a comfortable interior climate, the branch contains a solar shading device to prevent solar heat in the summer and allow heat gains in the winter. The building’s roof is designed to capture rainwater and divert it to an absorbent rock pit and bioswale.
The building also includes provisions for future solar energy integration.
More information about the Capital Region Commercial Building Awards is available here. The library officially opened to the public in February of this year.
David Carson, Director, Corporate Communications