Calgary's new central library will start to rise

The final piece needed to start the vertical construction of the future central library in Calgary was put in place Wednesday in front of a dozen delegates, including Mayor Naheed Nenshi and former mayor Dave Bronconnier.

Mayors Naheed Nenshi and Dave Bronconnier celebrated 'topping off' of LRT encapsulating

New central library construction to start in Calgary

7 years ago
Duration 0:55
Now that the LRT track has been completely encapsulated in cement, the vertical construction of the new library can start in the East Village.

The final piece needed to start the vertical construction of the future central library in Calgary was put in place Wednesday in front of a dozen delegates, including Mayor Naheed Nenshi and former mayor Dave Bronconnier.

Deemed an historic day by Nenshi during his speech, it marks the next phase of the project dreamed up in 2004.

Delegates watched as the final roofing panel of the LRT encapsulation was put in place.

"The LRT encapsulation program, which got underway in spring 2014, involved building an enclosure around the C-Train line that bisects the library site — a necessary precursor to construction of the library building," said Lyle Edwards, board chair of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) — which is co-ordinating construction in Calgary's East Village, in a release.

The organization says 99 per cent of project, involving encasing 150 metres of LRT track over the past 18 months, was completed with the C-Train line in full service. 

4 phases of construction

"The LRT encapsulation is foundational, as it provides the base around which the new library building has been designed and atop which it will be constructed," said Rob Adamson, one of the lead architects from Snøhetta and DIALOG, in a release.

The library is expected to be a multi-faceted gathering place with a "physical collection of more than 400,000 books," digital library and community programs.

The $245-million project — $175 million committed by city council and $70 million from CMLC — is on schedule to open in 2018.

The building will take roughly 750 days to construct and will be delivered in four phases: 

  • Phase 1 building skeleton: Steel and concrete are used to construct and define the four levels of the library structure.
  • Phase 2 building exterior: The curtain wall forms the outer skin of the building.
  • Phase 3: Once the curtain wall is in place, and the building is enclosed, work will begin on the mechanical electrical services of the building.
  • Phase 4 finishing stage: Final touches are added before the doors open to the public.

CMLC says the library will be an integral part of the East Village, which will be home to more than 11,000 residents upon completion in 2027.


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