The Meadows rec centre-library combo opens in southeast

The city of Edmonton opened a new kind of community facility Saturday: one that combines an aquatic centre, an arena and a branch of the public library.

Facility was built with $138 million of funding from the city

The city opened the doors of the Meadows Community Recreation Centre and Meadows Library in the southeast Saturday, which brings an aquatic centre and gym under the same roof as a public library branch.

“It is thrilling to see the Edmonton Public Library and the City of Edmonton come together to create this accessible, functional, beautiful and much needed space,”  said Ellen Calabrese-Amrhein, Chair of the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) Board of Trustees.

On the rec centre side, the building houses a leisure pool and swimming lanes, as well as a fitness centre and arena.

Calabrese-Amrhein said the library portion holds 53,000 items for borrowing in addition to community spaces and Makerspace technologies.

The project, located on 27 Avenue and 17 Street, was funded by $138 million from the city, with another $9.3 million coming from the province for a district park.

"Our goal is to provide both accessible and functional public spaces throughout our rapidly growing city, and we are doing just that with a library adjacent to the entrance of the Meadows recreation centre,” said Linda Cook, the library’s CEO.

“We are also excited to offer customers an outdoor reading area, as well as EPL's first green roof."

The city said that the facility has been built to the LEEDS Silver standard, and includes reduced water consumption and daylight harvesting, which less electricity for lighting when sunlight is available.