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Groundbreaking set for new library, within $62-million budget

Council approved downtown project in 2020, with $62 million price tag
Artistic rendering of the new, central library, seen from the west.

The ground will be broken on the new downtown central library June 20, and apparently it is within budget.

City officials said in a news release that construction of the 8,175 square metre-library, underground parking garage and public square are expected to be completed by mid-2026. They also state it is within the council-approved budget of $62 million.

“We’re thrilled to put shovels in the ground for our new central public library,” said Steven Kraft, chief executive officer of Guelph Public Library, in a news release. “This is a big step forward. The new library is going to bring many social, economic, and environmental benefits to the city. It will also support the needs of our growing population.”

Council approved the new library concept in 2020, though it’s been discussed for decades and council had endorsed previous versions of the plan.

“The project is coming in within the approved budget,” the release adds. “The project team has been successful in working with our construction manager to address inflationary cost pressures through value engineering including review of construction methods and exploration of alternative materials.”

Efforts to reach city officials for details about the successful bidder and specifics about its financial offer weren’t immediately successful.

A new library will be the main feature of the former parking lot redevelopment project, marketed as the Baker District. It also features two, 15-storey residential towers and commercial spaces. 

The underground parking garage is to be split between public and private uses, with 154 public spaces provided.

Though a date for the groundbreaking ceremony is set, June 20, no other details have been announced at this time.


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