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Cementing A Good Read! (Posted On: Thursday, July 03, 2008)

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It is not uncommon for a grand ceremony to be held to mark the launching of a project.   The picture taking and smiles are easy to find as everyone grabs a shovel and flips a bit of dirt.   The groundbreaking is a tradition.

It is also not uncommon for these grand ceremonies to be held long before anything actually happens at the site.   For a various number of reasons projects can be delayed.  The groundbreaking is actually long forgotten before the construction actually begins. 

Sometimes groundbreaking ceremonies are the beginning and end of a project.

A good way to avoid that fate it seems is to have the construction crew to on the scene, doing real construction work while dignitaries, guests and interested onlookers gathered for the time honoured tradition of turning over a few small piles of dirt.

This basically was the scene on Thursday afternoon as the Collingwood Public Library Board and Fundraisers gathered with staff, town officials, special guests and more than a few interested bystanders.  The construction process continued while the speeches were made and the dirt was turned to officially declare the project underway.

This was actually the second official ground breaking ceremony for the Library.  There was another when there was another architect and another plan.  But this time the groundbreaking would not pass by the wayside.

The fences are already up at the site of the new Collingwood Public Library, the hole is already in the ground.  Work has begun in earnest for the long awaited project.  The groundbreaking was ceremonial, but it was an important exercise just the same.

Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier spoke to the crowd about the public support that has assured the Library fundraising project will be a major success. The plan had been to raise 500 thousand dollars for the capital needs after the building went up.

At last count the total of the campaign had crossed the 700 thousand dollars in cash and commitments.   The success of the campaign has shown that the public is indeed supporting the new building.

The Mayor pointed out in his speech that public support has long been the hallmark of a library in town.   Going back to the early days of town history, public support was there when there was any need connected to the Library.

The current Library sits on land that was donated, and public support was the difference at every turn, even fire couldn’t dampen public support when it came to having a Library.

You can see it in the speech made by Mayor Carrier.  As he outlined the various levels of public support it is clear that such a project is really a good choice as a signature project in this year of the Collingwood Sesqicentennial.

The groundbreaking pictures are another example of how many people are behind the project that is underway at the corner of Simcoe Street and Ste. Marie Street.  Publicity Chair Paul Dolmage was in charge of working through a long list of special guests who took a turn posing in groundbreaking pictures.

The pictures of people who were taking their turn at the shovels show  a large group of people that has some sort of connection to the success of getting the project off ground.

Politicians, Library Board members, Library staff, Fundraising Committee members, donors and more.   So many people got to pose with the “golden shovel” that it looked like if they had actually needed to dig a hole to start the project, they had enough people in the pictures to get a really good head start.

As the picture taking session continued you couldn’t help but noticed the smiles on the faces of people who were convinced now that the long awaited project was for real.  They were finally seeing years of dreams and even disappointments come to this point.  A point of no return, in a good way.

Library Board Chair Donna Mansfield and Library CEO Kerry Robinson have been waiting a long time, and have been through so many scenarios that were false starts you could understand if they might have been caught pinching themselves, just to make sure it wasn’t a dream.

The two can probably be seen walking by the site each day just to keep reinforcing the fact that this time it is for real.

The crowning touch on the afternoon had to be the action that literally “cemented” the realization that this time it was for real. A few moments after the ceremonial ground breaking was completed people watch as a cement truck backed into place and began pouring the concrete into the foundation.

This time around the folks involved could rest assured there is no chance that the groundbreaking would just be a photo-op.   The cement going into the ground is the concrete proof they needed that the dream is now a reality.

Dale West - The Peakfm



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