Should county council accept the recommendation coming forth in a Social Services and Housing report Wednesday, the twinned Oxford County Library branch and childcare centre in the Village of Tavistock is dead. The two staff reports have been combined into the link above.
Manager of social services and housing Paul Beaton writes:
The introduction of full day learning for four years olds will effectively eliminate one third of the target market and similar to the introduction of junior kindergarten, will have a significant impact on child care providers throughout the County of Oxford. Survey results specific to the full day learning option verified that, if given the option of full day learning 24 of 46 parents would choose that alternative.
This report is backed up with a second meeting and survey conducted within the Tavistock community. I still think a library / childcare centre in the proposed location immediately adjacent to Tavistock Public School could have worked, with the kiddies ambling back and forth between the school and the childcare centre across the grass.
The more interesting outcome of all this is it may jeopardize the viability of a new library branch in Tavistock– a long-promised and much discussed upgrade to Oxford County Library services within East Zorra-Tavistock since the Hickson branch was shuttered (it now serves as a ‘library’ / book drop run by volunteers) as part of a series of closures in late 2005. EZ-T remains among the only Oxford County Library community in the county that doesn’t have a larger, more modern branch to serve its residents. Innerkip is close, but doesn’t meet the standard of a Princeton, Plattsville, Norwich and Thamesford. This need for EZ-T, and South-West Oxford, was outlined in a strategic plan for the library adopted by both the library board and county council in December 2007.
Public works department staff members write:
Public Works awaits County Council direction on whether a daycare is to be built as part of this project or not. We can anticipate three questions that County Council and the Library Board will have in their deliberations:
1) What would be the total budget be for a stand alone library in this location?
2) Should the project be constructed against the existing building or are there cost savings in constructing a stand alone building?
3) Is this the right site for a library?
These questions can be answered, but not in the time frame given to produce this report once Public Works staff learned of the recommendation in the Social Services and Housing Report.
Stay tuned– I’ll be tweeting the county council meeting Wednesday on the discussion and results of this decision.