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New pavilions at Grey Highlands libraries built with provincial cash, donations

CEO happy to see services extend beyond the library's walls

The Municipality of Grey Highlands this week celebrated the grand opening of newly built pavilions at two local libraries.

On Sept. 13, Mayor Paul McQueen, members of council, municipal and library staff and members of the community gathered to celebrate the opening of the new facilities at the libraries in Markdale and Flesherton.

In 2021, the library secured an $83,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant was used to expand access to digital resources during the pandemic, fund a Wi-Fi hotspot lending program, purchase equipment to assist staff in the safe delivery of in-person services, the addition of an outdoor canopy for outreach across the municipality and to help build two new pavilions at the two branches.

Along with the funding from the Trillium Foundation, the library secured more than $10,000 in donations from the public and $15,000 from the federal Health Communities Initiative. In addition, the Walker Harris Memorial Library group received $16,500 from the Capstone Community Enhancement Fund for the pavilion in Markdale.

The pavilion projects were completed this summer.

"The impact of this project on the community cannot be overstated,” said Jennifer Murley, CEO of the Grey Highlands Public Library. “With the help from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative, Capstone, Fleshcon, and our public donations, we’ve been able to extend our services beyond the walls of the library and ensure that our patrons are happy, healthy, and remain connected.”

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Rick Byers offered kudos to the library for its efforts on the projects.

“I congratulate the Municipality of Grey Highlands for being successful in receiving support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The municipality has done a great job building the outdoor facilities with Wi-Fi hotspots, reducing barriers to connectivity, and reducing social isolation,” said Byers.