New downtown library will not get Plus 15 link to City Hall

Calgary's new downtown library will not be connected to City Hall.

Construction of site, just east of City Hall, to cost $245M

Encapsulating the LRT line near City Hall will allow the new $245-million central library in the East Village to straddle the C-Train tracks. (EastVillageCalgary/YouTube)

Calgary's new downtown library will not be physically connected to City Hall.

Designers had floated the idea of connecting the site, just east of City Hall, to the building using a Plus 15 bridge, but now say the idea has been dropped because the design didn't work and City Hall is typically closed during the library's busiest hours.

"The majority of people coming to the new Central Library are not going to be coming through City Hall," said Michael Brown, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

"They're going to be using the LRT station so we've focused about how do we get that connectivity from the LRT station, looking where the adjacent parking is in the area, really meeting all of those needs."

Construction on the site is set to begin soon, starting with covering the south LRT line as it emerges from a tunnel.

The $245 million library will then be built over the train line.

City council first committed $40 million toward the project in 2004.

In 2011, the city committed an additional $135 million from the community investment fund. CMLC’s board of directors also voted earlier this year to contribute the balance needed for the $245-million project.

“The new central library is a landmark project for Calgary and represents the single largest investment in a public cultural facility since the 1988 Olympic Games,” Coun. Druh Farrell said in a written statement.

The design of the new library will be fully unveiled in September.

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