Grand opening of Stanley A. Milner Library to take place Sept. 17

Click to play video 'Edmonton library redesign slammed online, but officials urge patience' Edmonton library redesign slammed online, but officials urge patience
The makeover of the Stanley A. Milner Library isn't complete yet, but on Monday night, public reaction to the new redesign was not kind – Jul 16, 2019

After three years of construction, the Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton will open its doors to the public with a grand opening celebration on Sept. 17.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a digital ribbon cutting ceremony and the entire ceremony will be livestreamed so all Edmontonians can enjoy.

A select few will be able to attend the opening ceremonies in person though, as the Edmonton Public Library will hide tickets at all open library locations from Aug. 27 to Sept. 5.

Click to play video 'Does downtown Edmonton library meet expectations?' Does downtown Edmonton library meet expectations?
Does downtown Edmonton library meet expectations? – Jul 16, 2019

The library closed on Dec. 31, 2016, to undergo a major renovation including an exterior makeover, asbestos removal, mechanical and electrical upgrades and floor-to-ceiling second-floor windows.

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READ MORE: Unexpected issues raise cost of Stanley Milner Library renovations

In 2017, city council was told that unexpected problems would raise the initial price from $69 million to $84.5 million.

The library was originally supposed to open on Feb. 14, 2020, but the date was pushed back in December 2019. At the time, the EPL said the grand opening would take place sometime in the spring.

Read more: Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library delayed; no date set for opening

The new design features a larger children’s library, 10,000 square foot Makerspace, Fabrication Lab, a multi-storey interactive digital wall, the Thunderbird Lodge — an Indigenous gathering space — Gamerspace, the new Fresh Finds collection featuring recommendations from local Edmonton celebrities and more than 150,000 items to borrow.

“We know Edmontonians are extremely eager to see what we’ve been working on for the past three years,” Pilar Martinez, CEO of EPL said. “While there have been some mixed reactions on the exterior of our building, we’re extremely proud of our revitalized library and all that we’ve accomplished inside and out.

“We can’t wait for everyone to experience it for themselves.”

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Read more: ‘Ugly,’ ‘not as pictured’: Edmonton reacts to new Stanley Milner Library design

When 100 Street reopened after weeks of construction in July 2019, Edmontonians were able to get a closer look at the building. Many said it didn’t match the renderings presented before construction.

Mayor Don Iveson said at the time that problems encountered during construction led to the change in design, but asked people to be patient and judge the final project.

Click to play video 'Time capsule placed in Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library' Time capsule placed in Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library
Time capsule placed in Edmonton’s Stanley A. Milner Library – May 7, 2019

During the grand opening, the EPL said guidelines put in place by Alberta Health Services to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus will be in place including physical distancing, limited capacity and increased hand hygiene measures. Those attending must also wear face coverings.

On Sept. 13, Edmontonians can attend a virtual open house from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.