News / Edmonton

Edmonton Milner renewal imagines much brighter space

Library's children's section and makerspace will triple in size in new building.

The renovation proposes a much more open building with natural light.

Supplied

The renovation proposes a much more open building with natural light.

Edmonton’s refreshed Stanley Milner Library will by 2020 be open and airy, with much more natural light, a larger children’s library and Makerspace, and a two-storey tall interactive video screen.

The interior floor plans for a vastly renovated building are still being finalized, but based on feedback from public sessions, the children’s library and Makerspace will both more than triple their current size.

Library CEO Pilar Martinez said they were delighted to have so much public feedback on the proposals and also were surprised users still want traditional services, which is why the new building will also include lots of quiet study space.

“People still really see that as a library’s role,” she said.

Martinez said she’s very pleased the new design will open up the building with large openings for grand staircases.

“With these openings, which will extend all the way through the first floor, second floor levels, there will be a sense of things happening above me or below me,” she said.

Martinez said increasing the children’s space was about recognizing the changing face of the core.

“We know it is undersized for the usage right now and when you look at the demographics there will be more children living in the downtown,” she said.

The building is scheduled to be completely renovated in 2020.

Supplied

The building is scheduled to be completely renovated in 2020.

The library is also carving out space for a private daycare in the building.

The video screen is based on a similar product, which Martinez said she saw in an Australian library.

She said people can interact with the screen like an iPad and there are already several programs available for it.

“It’s very interactive and accessible. It’s not really academic,” she said. “I think this is an unexpected piece that would delight and surprise people.”

The library is proposing a giant interactive video screen as part of the renewal project.

Supplied

The library is proposing a giant interactive video screen as part of the renewal project.

The library had initially planned to stay open through out the construction, but Martinez said they’re exploring options now that might include a temporary relocation to a space close-by.

She said no decision has made, but moving out will save time and money.

“We have to look at the costs, because it is going to cost us more to stay,” she said. “We know if the construction crew has full access it will go quicker.”

More on Metronews.ca