To note: This article has been updated with information from the city project manager regarding the project schedule and budget.
Plans for a new central library have taken a big step forward, with the board’s approval of a schematic design.
This design, unanimously approved on September 21, aims to incorporate natural light into the building, as well as outdoor reading terraces, space for a variety of uses and to house the library’s archival collection.
âIt’s exciting. It’s a time to celebrate,â Guelph Public Library CEO Steve Kraft said of the design approval. âIt’s been a long time comingâ¦ at least 25 years.
“It’s a relief to think this is actually going to happen.”
City council approved the $ 62 million project in an 8-5 decision last October as part of the Baker Ward redevelopment.
Stephen Gazzola, the city’s project manager, said construction of a two-story underground car park is expected to start at the end of next year, with the library completed by the end of 2025.
At this point, he added, the project is on budget.
“That being said, these are difficult times for the construction industry as materials and labor have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he wrote in an email .
The library will be a three-story, 88,000-square-foot freestanding building at the south end of the Baker District redevelopment along Chapel Lane.
âI think the public will appreciate the work he has done. The board certainly does, âKraft said of the architect from Diamond Schmitt Architects. âEach department has been placed, so you know which department is where. “
The archive space on the third floor, a creative space on the second floor and the children’s space on the ground floor will be at the heart of these departments. Private meeting spaces and catering facilities are also provided.