News / Halifax

'We just want to open when we're ready:' Halifax Central Library in final stages

Books are in the shelves. Fences around the building are down. Seats are in place in the Paul O’Regan Hall, and the director of the Halifax Central Library said Haligonians will hear about an opening date “soon.”

On Tuesday, Bruce Gorman addressed recent online speculation that the new Spring Garden location would open Nov.29 by saying he has always maintained the space would open “fall 2014.”

"We’re in the final stages for sure.” Gorman said. “They’ll know soon.”

During a tour of the library Tuesday, Gorman showed off five floors of new bookcases, spaces for computers, a teen area with programming room and area with video game consoles, as well as two walls with 5,000 pieces of art and recording studios.

Returned books go up through a long black Willy Wonka-esque chute into the ceiling, and Gorman said self-serve checkout points and a spiral case for books on hold are other new features.

Having lived in Halifax his whole life, Gorman said the speculation around when the library will open is likely because projects like this “only come around so often.”

“The anticipation in the city is palpable, and I think people are really excited to see how we’re going to impact the city,” he said.

“We just want to open it when we’re ready."

Gorman said the views from the fifth-floor patio and a reading space overlooking Spring Garden Road are the most accessible places in the city to get a view of the harbour, Citadel Hill and most of downtown.

He added Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian culture is represented with displays and an eight-pointed star surrounded by a circular bench, and the Paul O’Regan music hall that fits 300 already has seats that fold under the stairs.

The auditorium will definitely be open in early December, as CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera (DNTO) with Sook-Yin Lee is booked there for a show Dec.3.

More on