Calgary

New central library plan approved by council

City council has voted to go ahead with plans to build a new central public library in downtown Calgary.

$245-million project to be built in East Village next to city hall by 2018

City council approved a plan on Monday to build a new central library next to city hall. (City of Calgary )

City council has voted to go ahead with plans to build a new central public library in downtown Calgary.

The $245-million facility will be built in the East Village, directly east of the Calgary Municipal Building.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he wants to see shovels in the ground as soon as a competition to choose a design for the library has been completed.

Council approved a timeline on Monday that would see the complex ready to open by 2018, but Nenshi said things could go faster.

"This will be a critical community space that inspires thought, collaboration and conversation. I can’t wait to see it take shape," said Nenshi.

Funding for the project includes $40 million that council set aside in 2004, plus $135 million from the Community Investment Fund and $70 million from the Community Revitalization Levy, the city said.

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation — which is overseeing re-development of the East Village — will manage, coordinate and supervise the design and construction of the new library, council decided.

The 286,000 square-foot facility will be about 40 per cent larger than the old central library it replaces. That building, at 616 Macleod Trail S.E., opened in 1963.

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