Plans for $20-million extension to Pierrefonds library set to go ahead
KATE SHERIDAN, SPECIAL TO MONTREAL GAZETTE
Published on: May 10, 2016
A $20-million extension to the Pierrefonds-Roxboro library will be going to tender in the next few months, borough Mayor Jim Beis confirmed Monday. Construction is expected to start this fall and be completed by 2018.
The borough council took the last step required before going to tender with a motion at the council meeting on May 2, when the borough council approved the proposed site planning and architectural integration program unanimously.
An extension to the Pierrefonds library has been in the works since at least 1995, according to the city’s 2013 master plan for cultural, sports and recreation facilities.
“The facilities currently offered by (the libraries in Pierrefonds-Roxboro…) do not offer a ‘good’ level of service to the population of the borough,” stated the master plan, citing lack of staff and surface area. “However, once the new library is built, with the exception of the number of employees, the service could be qualified as ‘good’ for borough residents.”
In addition to the building on Pierrefonds Blvd. next door to the borough hall, another library — the Roxboro library — exists on Cartier St.
The planned extension will add more than 2,300 square metres of space to the main floor as well as a basement and a terrace with a café. New services, including a media lab, 3D printing suite and a learning lab for children, were included in the extension’s design. The extension is expected to receive an LEED Gold certification for sustainable development.
“It’s going to be more than just a library, it is going to be an assembly point,” Beis said. “It’s not just a building to house books.”
The extension should open in early 2018, Beis confirmed, and construction could start as early as this fall, assuming the quotes that are received during the call for tenders fall into the proposed budget.
The estimated cost is about $20 million, with the provincial culture ministry and the city of Montreal covering 80 per cent of the construction costs. The borough must pay for the remaining construction costs and the library’s operating expenses.
Until the library extension opens, residents can find library materials previously housed at the Pierrefonds library throughout the borough. “We had made a decision to house the books in satellite stations to make them available to the public,” Beis noted. Satellite stations include the basement of the Pierrefonds Cultural Centre, the Roxboro library and the East Community Centre. A contract to move the library materials out to these satellite stations was already issued, Beis noted, and will also cover moving the materials back when the extension is completed.
The extension won’t be the only thing that’s new at the Pierrefonds library when it re-opens. New employees are also part of the package, Beis said. “Back when we had the project approved, one of the conditions was that we had to have the staff to go with it,” he said, noting that the number of new staff is still a subject of discussions.
The extension’s design concept, a collaboration between architectural firms Chevalier Morales Architectes and DMA Architectes, received Canadian Architect magazine’s 2014 Award of Excellence.