Manitoba

Bigger, brighter, more accessible: New Windsor Park Library opens doors

The Windsor Park community now has a bigger, brighter and more accessible learning space after the new library opened its doors on Thursday.

8,000-square-foot, $4.9M facility on Archibald Street replaces old building on Cottonwood Road

The new Windsor Park Library officially opened its doors on Thursday. (Genevieve Morin/CBC)

A southeastern Winnipeg neighbourhood now has a bigger, brighter and more accessible learning space after the new Windsor Park library opened its doors on Thursday.

The 8,000-square-foot, $4.9-million building on Archibald Street replaces the old Windsor Park Library, built in 1961 on Cottonwood Road. The new library features tall glass walls surrounding the exterior, letting in natural light.

"At night you can actually see right through the building, so you can actually see the forest behind it," said architect Helio Rodrigues.

The new Windsor Park Library officially opened its doors on Thursday. (Rosalie Loiselle/CBC)

Architect David Penner said the City of Winnipeg wanted to make the building more accessible. While the old building had two levels, everything in the new building is on a single floor.

"This building is fully barrier-free, conforming to the City of Winnipeg access standards," Penner said.

Building the new library was one of the first priorities identified in the Winnipeg Public Library's redevelopment strategy, approved by city council in 2012.

Over the last two weeks, staff have transferred 25,000 books, movies, music recordings and other items from the old facility on Cottonwood Road to the new library.

The new Windsor Park Library includes a mural, titled Tributaries, by artist Simon Hughes. (Rosalie Loiselle/CBC)

The new building is designed to meet LEED silver certification standards, which exceed the provincial standards for energy efficiency.

"With that goes the sustainability of materials used, the light that comes into the building, natural light — all the lights work, the [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] system works, it's all integrated to a certain standard," Rodrigues said.

Coun. Matt Allard called the opening of the new library "great news" and said its close proximity to Bonivital Pool compliments the new facility.

"We've got a new civic campus for the mind and the body," he said.

The new library also features an outdoor reading area and a mural designed by artist Simon Hughes.

Architects Hélio Rodrigues and David Penner say the City of Winnipeg wanted to make the building more accessible. The old building had two levels, the new building is all one floor. 0:49

With files from Rosalie Loiselle