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Media Release

Central Library for HRM
Planning Gets Underway with Public Meeting

February 1, 2008, Halifax – Halifax Public Libraries is in the process of planning for the construction of a new downtown central library. The first step is to determine the services, functions and space requirements for this flagship branch. In order to do that, the Library has contracted HOK Planning Group to develop a building program. A high quality building program is best achieved through an interactive public consultation process.

"Our goal right now is to gather input from the public and staff. We need to hear what people want in a new Central Library so we can develop a shared vision that will meet the needs of the community for years to come," says Judith Hare, CEO of Halifax Public Libraries. "Based on this input, our team of experienced urban designers, planners and architects will shape that vision into reality."

The process starts with a Public Meeting being held Wednesday, February 6 at 7 p.m. at the Lord Nelson Hotel. This is an opportunity for citizens to be part of the exciting process in planing for the future Central Library for HRM. HOK Planning Group and staff from the Halifax Public Libraries will give a presentation and lead an information gathering session. Following this meeting, there will be a survey available on the Library's website and in the branches for those who were unable to attend the meeting in person.

"There are some truly exciting things being done in public libraries now. The new Central Library is important to the city, to the downtown and to our customers. We're not taking the planning lightly and we're fortunate to have an incredibly strong team working on this project," says Leo McKenna, Chair Halifax Public Libraries Board.

The team includes Susan Kent who brings over 30 years of experience in public libraries. Kent has managed some of the world's leading modern libraries including Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis. She is also an international expert offering consulting services in the areas of strategic facilities planning. Kent is working with renowned architects and planners who have helped shape some of Canada and Nova Scotia’s most recognizable public buildings and spaces.

This phase is expected to be complete by June 2008 at which time the Library will have answers to important questions including budget and square footage. At that point, the Library will be able to present the overall plan to municipal council.

Background in Brief:

  • HRM Council approved in principle the designation of the lands at the corner of Spring Garden and Queen Street (the site of the former Halifax Infirmary) to be the location of the new Central Library. Talks are underway with the Province regarding land transactions.
  • The Central Library will be developed in alignment with the Spring Garden Road Queen Street Land Use Plan approved by Council.

Media Contact:

Helena Sergakis
Communications Officer
Halifax Public Libraries
Phone: (902) 490-5852
Cell: (902) 476-8605
Fax: (902) 490-5762