The aging Stanley A. Milner Library in downtown Edmonton has been reimagined as a modern glass and steel showpiece on Churchill Square.
The library now has artist renderings of the proposed $56 million revamp, thanks to $1 million provided by Edmonton city council.
Now, library officials have to go to council to get funding for the next step.
“We’re optimistic but we’re not really holding our breath,” said Linda Cook, CEO of Edmonton Public Library.
“City council has some competing priorities and they don’t have unlimited funds so we’re going to have to make a really, really good proposal to them.”
The Milner library was built in 1967 for Canada’s Centennial but the concrete exterior and drab interior are in need of an update.
Cook says the new design includes more space for computers, studying and reading. Floor to ceiling windows will look out on Churchill Square.
The children’s library will be moved to the back of the building, allowing a playground to be built on the underused Centennial Square.
The library won’t have to be closed while the revamp is underway, Cook said.
“This is not a tear-down, our foundation is solid,” she said.
Cook expects the library will make the next funding request this fall.