Calgary’s new Central Library enters final phase of construction under budget

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New Central Library enters final phase of construction
WATCH: Construction on Calgary’s new Central Library is now in the final phase. As Dallas Flexhaug reports, the building is weather-tight and just one year away from opening – Sep 28, 2017

Calgary’s new Central Library has entered its final phase of construction, with the facility on schedule to open in just one year.

The lead developer says the building, located in the East Village, is now “weather-tight” – which means it’s fully enclosed.

The focus now turns to completing the building’s interior, including everything from installing flooring and shelving to constructing more than 40 meeting rooms and selecting furniture and audio-visual equipment.

Crews are working on exterior hardscaping around the library building, installing foundations for planters.

WATCH: Take a virtual tour of Calgary’s New Central Library

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is the lead developer, and spokesperson Susan Veres says she believes the $245 million project is under budget.

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“Which is phenomenal for a five-year program,” she said. “In softer, recessionary times there are advantages when you’re building a big structure like this; you can get savings in supplies and materials, and you can also realize some benefit in trades. So we’ve been able to take advantage of that.”

Veres says for a visitor, their first moment of entry into the library will be grandiose.

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“This site is actually bisected by an LRT line. Not only that, but the train actually descends and ascends right in the middle of the site. Immediately upon entering the library you will see that shape take effect because you’re immediately drawn up through the public library and into the space.”

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Next month, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) will launch a request for proposals for interior furniture packages to furnish the library’s meeting rooms and public spaces.

Calgary Public Library CEO Bill Ptacek said they’ve already been engaging library staff and others to help evaluate furniture options to make sure they “measure up” to the “phenomenal facility.”

“We’ve put some sample pieces in other community libraries so the design team and future users of the new Central Library can assess furniture based on comfort, durability and aesthetics as well as the appropriate placement for various styles,” he said. “We’ve even invited teens to try out furniture for the teen area in the new library.”

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Construction on the library began in May 2014 and is expected to be completed in time for a grand opening in the fall of 2018.

Veres said they estimate the library will see nearly two million visitors in the first year of operation alone.

GALLERY: A look at Calgary’s New Central Library

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