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Pugwash LibraryConstruction of Pugwash’s $2.198-million library is approaching the last of many milestones - completion.

“We’re almost there,” project manager Roger MacIsaac said. “I’m really pleased with the progress of the project and I’m really happy with how Iron Maple delivered the product. We hope to have our final electrical inspection done in early January, which will give us substantial completion. When you look around you can see that we’re pretty near 100 percent completed.”

Work on the 3,700-square-foot building began earlier this year when the Municipality of Cumberland announced plans to build the library that will replace the existing facility located in the former Pugwash train station since 1988.

Iron Maple Constructors and sub-contractors have been working since then to build the building.

MacIsaac said the project did suffer some setbacks with post-tropical storm Fiona as well as supply chain issues and difficulty finding labourers. Despite this, the issues were addressed as Iron Maple pushed the project forward.

“They always found solutions to not only get the job done but to get a quality job done,” MacIsaac said.

From the initial concept and looking at the original plans, MacIsaac said the project has turned out better than he thought and it’s a building that will serve Pugwash and the North Shore community for many years. Cumberland

Public Libraries chief librarian Denise Corey can’t get over how fast the project came together after being talked about and proposed for many years.

“It’s just about a year ago that the municipality made the commitment to build this library and here we are now on the verge of moving into a brand-new building,” Corey said. “We had champions on council, including Mayor Scott and Coun. Houghtaling. They moved it forward with CAO Greg Herrett.”

Corey, who got a sneak peak at the project several weeks ago, is excited to see the nearly-completed project. She was also pleased to be able to bring branch staff Archan Knotz and Mary Hartling to see their future workplace.

“It’s going to be a great space,” Corey said. “It’s one thing to see it a few weeks ago because a lot of things weren’t in place yet, but to see the circulation desk being installed and where things are going to go is something else. It’s going to be a very flexible space. Everything moves around as we need it to.”

Corey said she is already being approached by community groups who want to use the program space. She expects there will be so many things happening within the building.

She said the municipal space will also be a welcome addition in that people going to that office could go into the library to borrow materials or participate in programs.

Work is continuing at the former library site several hundred feet away. Corey expects the move will begin sometime in early January and she’s hopeful the new library will open to the public in early February.

Corey said people can still access books through borrow by mail and when the new library opens there will be a mostly new collection there.

Anyone with questions can call the library at 902-667-2549.

Hartling said she worked in the former library for 30 years and is amazed at what will soon be her new work home.“It’s fantastic,” she said. “I’m almost speechless.”It’s sort of a homecoming for her as her great-grandparents owned the land and built a house there after a fire in the 1920s burned their store and apartment.

Knotz loves how bright the interior is with many big windows overlooking the harbour. She is also pleased to see the solar panels on the roof.

“It’s definitely going to be a very green building,” Knotz said. “It’s also going to be very accessible, something we never had at the other building.”