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Calgary’s new central library opens Thursday

Calgary’s new central library now open to the public
Global News Morning Calgary's social host Matthew Conrod takes in Calgary's new central library.

Calgarians will get a chance to explore their new central library when it opens its doors Thursday morning.

Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will help kick off four days of activities to mark the opening of the facility.  Doors open at 10 a.m. Thursday and will include live music, free tours, and other city officials, the library said on its website.

On Friday, the library will be hosting the Lit Gala, with the proceeds going to the library’s speaker series, the library said.

Calgarians looking to take public transit down to the new library will be in luck this Saturday, as it will be free from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

City of Calgary officials applaud as completion of phase one of the new central library construction is marked on September 30, 2015.
City of Calgary officials applaud as completion of phase one of the new central library construction is marked on September 30, 2015. Stefan Keyes/Global Calgary

The $248-million project was designed by architectural firm Snøhetta and Calgary’s DIALOG after an international design competition.

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The building also features a live LRT line running through the bottom of the structure, making the building unique in the city.

WATCH: After four years of construction, Calgary’s new library has finally opened to the public. Christa Dao has more on the unique features of the facility.

Calgary’s new central library opens to the public
Calgary’s new central library opens to the public

The 240,000-square-foot building houses 450,000 items and features 30 community rooms, a performance hall, restaurant and cafe. There’s also a recording studio and children’s area.  It also came in under budget.

An interior shot of the new Central Library in Calgary.
An interior shot of the new Central Library in Calgary. Calgary Public Library hand-out/Neil Zeller

LISTEN: Col. Chris Hadfield joins Calgary Today ahead of his talk on opening day of the New Central Library