Received an interesting e-mail from the Friends of Regina Public Library this morning. Apparently there was an RPL board meeting yesterday at which it was revealed that the library board now has no plans to rejuvenate the downtown branch.
From the Friends’ e-mail:
The Regina Public Library Board disclosed it had spent about $400,000 on feasibility and design studies, which became largely useless when the Masons declined to sell their neighbouring building. The work apparently provided no alternative plans, according to the Library Board Chair.
Well, thanks for that. Now the piece on the library I wrote for the upcoming issue is going to look pretty out-of-date.
Also, I’m confused. The board had no alternate plans? None? But back in June of last year — that would be the first time the masons publicly stated they didn’t want to sell their land — library board chair, Darlene Hincks-Joehnk, declared that that’s okay because they have lots of other plans that they can go with.
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s Darlene saying that very thing during a press scrum in June of 2011.
You know what, I’m beginning to wonder if that concept sketch that was leaked to the interwebs last spring — the one that board chair, Darlene Hincks-Joehnk, assured us over and over again was just a concept and not a final plan — was actually the only plan they’ve ever had.
It couldn’t be that library board chair, Darlene Hincks-Joehnk, wasn’t being entirely forthright with us, could it?
Incidentally, I pulled that audio clip from the podcast episode in which we discuss the library redevelopment. That was Ultrasonic Alarm Call #4: Reboots. There are several more clips in there of library board chair, Darlene Hincks-Joehnk, discussing their many plans for central branch. Definitely worth a listen now.
Update: Oh, forgot to mention this above… it’s also worth pointing out that it seems the library board has cancelled their P3 plan for central branch as well.
Again, from the Friends’ e-mail:
The Friends were happy to hear the Library Board has abandoned a public-private partnership (P3) for the Central Library. Chairperson Darlene Hincks Joehnck claimed the Friends would never understand P3’s but evidently she understands them well enough to know it is not a good idea for the Regina Public Library.
Without a plan, the Board does not foresee any public consultations over the summer.