_ (Via City of Ottawa) _ ** Ottawa ** – The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) today received City Council approval to develop a new 216,000 square-foot Ottawa Central Library joint facility with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) at 557 Wellington Street. City Council further approved a design-bid-build procurement process in order to ensure maximum control over the facility design, as well as approval in principle for the City-funded portion ($99 million) of the $168 million facility.
“A new Central Library in the heart of the National Capital Region will have a positive impact on our city. And, the collaboration with Library and Archives Canada is a unique opportunity to elevate the cultural significance of this facility and give it national stature,” said Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board and Councillor for Beacon Hill – Cyrville. “Thank you to Mayor Watson and my colleagues on Council for making decisions today that move us from planning to action.”
A library for the future, the Ottawa Central Library will be a “creative placemaker” that inspires learning, sparks curiosity, and connects people. The joint facility will be a one-of-a-kind destination for residents and visitors – both a civic and national landmark.
“Today marks a historic moment for our City, as we undertake the first steps to building Ottawa’s new Central Library; a vital landmark facility befitting the world class city we live in,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Congratulations to my Council colleagues, the Ottawa Public Library Board and City and Library staff on your exceptional work over the last few years. Your commitment to the Central Library Project will be remembered through the legacy it leaves our future generations.”
Today’s decision gives approval in principle, and authority to proceed with next steps, including:
* Negotiation of the Relationship Agreement with Library and Archives Canada; * Development of a funding strategy, including seeking both federal and provincial infrastructure grants, before final project authority is provided; * Investigation of options to dispose of the existing assets at 120 Metcalfe Street / 191 Laurier Ave West; * Initiation of the procurement process for design (pending final project authority); and, * Completion of a detailed study into parking requirements for the joint facility.
The Government of Canada will make a decision regarding Library and Archives Canada’s participation in the joint facility in spring 2017.