CALGARY’S NEW CENTRAL LIBRARY: THE FINAL COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN!
CMLC invites Calgarians to follow the ‘final chapters’ of NCL construction over the next 12 months
(CALGARY, AB) • Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) – lead developer of Calgary’s New Central Library in the reimagined, re-emerging neighbourhood of East Village – is thrilled to announce that Calgary’s long-awaited, much-anticipated New Central Library is now just 12 months away from opening its doors!
At the end of September, the New Central Library building became fully ‘weather-tight’ and construction moved indoors for the ‘fit and finish’ work that will bring the new facility to completion. This includes everything from installing flooring and shelving to constructing 40+ meeting rooms to selecting furniture and audio-visual equipment.
“Over the next year – the final year of a construction program that officially broke ground in May 2014 – the finishing elements of the building will come together,” says Michael Brown, CMLC president and CEO. “From the completion of the library’s interior spaces, to the furniture choices and public art installations, to the selection of a food and beverage operator, it’s all about ensuring the new building accommodates a vast variety of programming needs and delivers a library experience for Calgarians that exceeds the expectations of the Calgary Public Library and City of Calgary.”
For the Calgary Public Library team, the next year involves a robust planning process to prepare their operational systems and staff for the addition of this new facility into the overall library system. “Over the next 12 months, our library staff will be working hard to create an innovative and truly accessible experience at our new Central Library,” says Janet Hutchinson, Chair, Calgary Public Library Board of Directors. “To ensure the library meets the needs of all our users, we are conducting trial periods throughout our library system to test enhanced customer service processes, evaluating various furniture pieces and refining our program offerings so that when we open the doors next year, the New Central Library exceeds everyone’s expectations.”
The project team has spent much of 2017 planning for the final phase of construction. In this phase, doors are being hung, carpet is being laid and meeting rooms are being built. A $21 million furnishings budget has been allocated, of the $245 million building program, to ensure the building is properly equipped to deal with the one million+ visitations expected each year.
This includes all the furniture for the staff and public areas, all the AV equipment, all the computers, all the library shelves, the materials handling equipment, and interior and exterior signage. There are over 2,200 chairs and seats; 446 tables, and 30 bookable meeting rooms being coordinated.
While the project team, construction crews and the library’s design team focus on the granular details of fit and finish, Mayor Naheed Nenshi can’t help but get excited about a much bigger picture taking shape in downtown Calgary’s east end.
“Calgary’s east end is rising, and evolving into a cultural and entertainment district unlike anywhere else in the City”, says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “You needn’t look further than East Village to see how strategic placemaking efforts can transform a neighbourhood and now the stage has been set to create a downtown district pulsing with culture, entertainment and innovation. And in this picture of Calgary’s Cultural & Entertainment District, the New Central Library has a starring role.”