This is a release from the Ottawa Public Library:
An iconic Ottawa Central Library (OCL) in the nation’s capital is one step closer to reality today as the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) Board approved staff recommendations that it be built as a joint facility with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) at 557 Wellington Street, steps from the intersection of Albert St. and Bronson Ave. The recommendations will go to Ottawa City Council for approval on February 8, 2017.
“As a G7 capital, Ottawa deserves a great central library,” said Tim Tierney Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, and Councillor for Beacon Hill – Cyrville. “Today’s decision moves us one step closer to bringing the Ottawa Central Library to life. We are looking forward to getting Council’s approval, and moving from planning to design.”
An expert site evaluation committee, overseen by a Fairness Commissioner, evaluated 12 potential sites against criteria developed with public input. The City-owned site at 557 Wellington Street ranked first at all stages of the evaluation process for either a standalone central library or a joint OCL-LAC facility.
“We always knew this was a good site,” said Monique Désormeaux, Deputy CEO, Ottawa Public Library. “After undertaking Canada’s most robust process to select a public library location, we now know we have the best site. At the western edge of the core, this location meets all of the criteria to allow us to build an accessible iconic central library in the heart of the nation’s capital. And it’s the most affordable too, costing $10-$30 million less than the other options.”
A public survey by Nanos Research in January 2017 showed that there is city-wide support for the joint facility with Library and Archives Canada, the location, and the proposed spaces and uses.
The City-funded portion of the new 216,000 gross square feet joint facility is estimated to be $99 million; the Government of Canada would assume the balance of the $168 million facility. The Board further approved the recommendation that the facility be built using a design-bid-build procurement process in order to ensure maximum control over its design.
Twenty-one public delegations spoke at the Board meeting on various aspects of the recommended decisions on the OCL project.
The Government of Canada will make a decision regarding Library and Archives Canada’s participation in the joint facility in spring 2017.
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