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City still waiting on feds for answer on library partnership

Jennifer McIntosh, Ottawa East News
July 14, 2017

Staff at Library and Archives Canada are convinced a partnership on a new central library is the way to go, but it may be a few months for the approvals to come through, said Mayor Jim Watson.

City staff were supposed to have a funding strategy ready for council to review in June, but that likely won’t happen until closer to the fall now.

Library board chair Tim Tierney said waiting on the feds could add two to four months to the city’s original timeline on the project.

“Does that mean we can still do something in 2018 to kick off the project? I think it’s a good possibility, but we won’t know until August how to proceed,” he said.

Watson said the city has indicated they’d like an answer by the fall, and he still thinks a dual facility is a win-win.

The city approved the concept for the 20,067-square-metre facility that our Ottawa Public Library would share with federal archives.

The so-called mega library is to be built at 557 Wellington St., on the eastern edge of Lebreton Flats.

The selection of the site was contentious, with many residents calling for a site closer to the downtown core.

The city’s share of the would be roughly $99 million. The construction of the building is estimated to cost $168 million.

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