A new library named after a long-serving Winnipeg mayor and his wife has opened in River Heights.
The Bill and Helen Norrie Library will replace the former River Heights Library.
“It is an honour to officially open the Bill and Helen Norrie Library in recognition of the Norrie family who have been championing Winnipeg for decades,” said Mayor Brian Bowman, in a city release.
“Especially with their commitment to libraries, I’m pleased to honour the Norrie family with this incredible new library that will serve our community for decades to come.”
Bill, who died in 2012, served as Winnipeg from 1979 to 1992 and Helen worked as a teacher/librarian in Winnipeg schools.
“This is a beautiful new library in an ideal location and I’m thrilled to have Bill’s and my name associated with it,” Helen said in the city’s release.
Construction on the $9.3 million facility at 15 Poseidon Bay was started in the fall of 2019.
The 14,000-square-foot library includes a multi-use public space, tutorial and programming rooms, improved study and leisure areas, and a 24/7 book return chute.
The city says the building’s design elements are also intended to recognize the history of the area formerly known as Rooster Town, a predominately-Métis community that included the land where the library is now located.
After consulting with the families of those who lived in Rooster Town, the city says the library was designed with a pitched roof, wood panelling and earth tones, and also features images of Rooster Town, interpretive panels, artifacts, and books.
“Being able to honour those who lived in Rooster Town as well as recognize Bill and Helen’s long-time commitment to Winnipeggers with this new accessible, state-of-the-art space in our ward means so much to me,” said John Orlikow, councillor for River Heights-Fort Garry.
“I know it’s destined to become just as beloved and full of memories as its previous location.”