On-Site Magazine

WATCH: Time lapse video shows construction of Calgary’s New Central Library from ground up

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February 13, 2019 by Jillian Morgan

View from outside the New Central Library (Photo: Calgary Public Library/Twitter)

CALGARY—The approximately 1.7 million hours crews spent constructing Calgary’s New Central Library — a $245 million landmark in the city’s East Village — can be viewed in a quick three minutes.

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, which spearheaded the project, released a time lapse video of the building’s construction Feb. 12, marking a little over 100 days since doors opened to the 240,000 square foot facility on Nov. 1, 2018.


Planning for the structure got underway more than a decade ago, in 2004, when city council committed $40 million to the project — followed by an additional $135 million in 2011. Funding for the library was topped off by a $70 million contribution from CMLC.

Construction on the building kicked off in May 2014 with the encapsulation of the CTrain LRT line. The vertical construction program, delivered in four phases, was completed in September 2018. Stuart Olson Dominion was selected as the contractor in November 2013.

Over the course of the project, as many as 200 workers were on-site at any given time.

“For five years, and amid the dynamics that have challenged our city for the past few years, CMLC and our project team have kept this complex $245-million project moving forward, both on schedule and under budget,” Michael Brown, CMLC president and CEO, stated in a September 2018 release.

“This incredible new facility makes use of a site that sat vacant for decades because of the LRT line bisecting it, a challenge that ultimately inspired the building’s dramatic design and gives Calgarians a state-of-the-art library, and also creates a vital connection from the west boundary of downtown and City Hall into East Village and the rest of east Calgary.”

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