Calgary's New Central Library Now Weather-Tight

CMLC is set to shepherd construction through its final stages for Fall 2018 opening

(CALGARY, AB) • Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) – lead developer of Calgary’s New Central Library in the re-emerging neighbourhood of East Village – is celebrating yet another significant step forward in the construction of the library, with construction proceeding on schedule for the planned Grand Opening in fall 2018.

The New Central Library is now officially ‘weather-tight’, which means the building is fully enclosed, its exterior shell is materially complete and the exciting final stage of construction is now underway. 

“After years of extensive planning and more than three years since the start of construction, our New Central Library is now just one year away and one step closer from that thrilling day when it opens its doors to all Calgarians,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Now that the building exterior is essentially complete, the spectacular design and personality of the building is on display for all to see. With each new milestone in the library building’s construction program, Calgarians see more and more clearly how dynamic and dramatic it will be – a landmark every Calgarian can be proud of.”

CMLC has managed every aspect of this major project since construction began in May 2014 with the encapsulation of the LRT tracks that bisect the New Central Library site.

During spring and summer 2017, CMLC oversaw the completion of all roofing and installation of the building’s innovative curtain wall. Construction crews also made significant progress in the challenging installation of the wood soffit archway that shapes the library’s open outdoor passageway – a key design feature that creates a visual and pedestrian connection between East Village to the east and Calgary’s downtown core to the west.

In addition, this week the NCL building will officially connect to District Energy, an important component to the building’s pursuit of LEED gold certification.  Crews are working on the exterior hardscaping around the library building, installing foundations for planters and other below-grade infrastructure for the final landscaping work that will be completed in 2018; the library’s administration areas are also nearly complete.  CMLC is also managing the public realm improvement program along 3rd Street SE that will create a seamless interaction between the library’s public entrance and pedestrian environment along the west side of the building.

“The fact that we’ve kept such a complex construction project on schedule and on budget is a real testament to the quality and commitment of the entire New Central Library project team,” says Michael Brown, CMLC’s President & CEO. “Our design team of Snøhetta and DIALOG, Calgary Public Library, the City of Calgary and our team at CMLC have seamlessly managed a robust and complicated construction program.

“As we enter the next – and final – stage of library construction, we intend to give the same attention to detail to the project to ensure we deliver a New Central Library that lives up to its promise and meets the needs of all its future users.”

The focus of the final stage of New Central Library construction is on completing the building’s interior spaces. This includes everything from installing flooring and shelving to constructing 40+ meeting rooms to selecting furniture and audio-visual equipment.

In October 2017, CMLC will initiate a procurement process (Request for Proposals) for interior furniture packages to furnish the New Central Library’s meeting rooms and public spaces.

“To make sure the furnishings measure up to this phenomenal facility, we’ve already been engaging Calgary Public Library staff and others to help evaluate furniture options,” says Bill Ptacek, CEO Calgary Public Library. “We’ve put some sample pieces in other community libraries so the design team and future users of the New Central Library can assess furniture based on comfort, durability and aesthetics as well as the appropriate placement for various styles. We’ve even invited teens to try out furniture for the teen area in the new library.”

This landmark destination for Calgarians (and visitors from around the world) to gather, learn, read, play, be challenged, relax, hang out and connect is on schedule to open in fall 2018.