News / Edmonton

Edmonton's Milner Library to relocate to Jasper Avenue during construction

Library will move to Enterprise Square for up to three years

The new library will be a dramatic reshape of the building.

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The new library will be a dramatic reshape of the building.

Edmonton’s downtown library will be relocated for as much as three years during a massive renovation set to start early in 2017.

The library announced last week that the Milner Library would close during the planned renovation and a new temporary facility would be set up in the Enterprise Square building on Jasper Avenue.

Library CEO Pilar Martinez said while they had initially considered keeping the Milner open during renovations, as detailed design work evolved it became clear that wouldn’t work.

“Safety was a huge thing. We are dealing with a building that has asbestos, so there is a fair bit of abatement that had to occur,” she said.

She said keeping the building open during renovations would also have cost the library a significant amount of money. 

“It’s in the millions and we save about a year in terms of construction timelines, just by having the workers not have to work around staff,” she said.

Martinez said the Enterprise Square location will have about 17,000 feet of space for the temporary facility and most of the library’s current services will be available there. She said it’s an ideal location to keep offering services.

“It has easy LRT access, it fronts Jasper Avenue, and we have some great windows with natural light.”

The library’s renovation is an ambitious plan to re-skin the building, while also overhauling the mechanical systems. It is budgeted at $62.5 million, which Martinez said is still going to be achievable.

She said the move to Enterprise Square will be funded out of the library’s existing operations.

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