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Major repairs or replacement needed for Hudson's Hope library

Inspection details range of issues facing 47-year-old building
hudsons-hope-public-library
The Hudson's Hope Public Library is closed until further notice after the discovery that the bank behind it is suffering from sloughing issues.

Discussions have begun about the future of the aging Hudson’s Hope library.

An inspection this summer identified a number of issues with the building, constructed in 1974, namely a roof failure in need of priority replacement, as well as rot and decay in the log base course requiring a rebuild.

Library Director Amber Norton says the organization is keen to be involved in the consultation process with the District to determine if the costs and efforts for repairs to the building outweigh replacing the building entirely.

"The recommendations to bring the building to current maintenance standards are considerable," Norton wrote in an Oct. 6 letter to the District council. “We are aware that decisions could range from the support and continued maintenance of the current building or to designing a building suited to our community needs.”

The inspection report from Force Engineering also noted building issues with insect infestation, horticultural controls and potential tree hazards, grading and door adjustments, and ongoing maintenance needed for the exterior wood finishing to prevent further deterioration.

Mayor Dave Heiberg said he expects to talk in detail soon with the library on financial feasibility and direction. 

"We're going to go through it and take it into our strategic planning, and we can make some plans for how we can afford to do these things over time," Heiberg said.

Beyond maintenance, the library is keeping its eye on buildings to use as a temporary site should it be closed again due to landslides.

The library was temporarily closed in September after 500 cubic metres of material sloughed from the river bank behind the building and where crews are building a shoreline protection berm as part of Site C dam construction.

“We haven’t settled on a plan yet, but there are contingency plans that we’re entertaining in the case of having to leave the building on a temporary or even short-term basis,” said Norton.

Read the inspection report in full below:

Hudson's Hope Library Inspection Report by AlaskaHighwayNews on Scribd

— with files from Matt Preprost


Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca