The existing main library branch is cramped for space and expensive to operate, the library board says. ((CBC))

The board of the Regina Public Library says it's time to fix or replace its 47-year-old main branch.

The library board said Friday it's asking for expressions of interest from local firms about how to revamp the central branch.

The options include replacing the downtown library altogether or expanding and renovating it.

The grey building constructed in 1962 has about 75,000 square feet of space, but the branch needs 150,000 square feet, according to the library's board of directors.

It's not the first time the library board has looked at doing something about its cramped main branch.

An ambitious plan was developed for a new building in the late 1990s, but some people were concerned about how much it would cost. The plan was eventually scrapped.

The old building is expensive to operate and energy inefficient, according to the library board. The deadline for receiving expressions of interest is Feb. 27. All proposals must keep the main branch in the downtown, the board said.