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May 27, 2024

New Central Library Construction to Start

Let the countdown begin!

The new central library will open at 321 2nd Avenue North in the summer of 2027. Our first step will be to remediate the site between July and September, and construction is scheduled to begin in October 2024.

We are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at the new site on Tuesday, June 25 at 9:30 am. A community celebration at Frances Morrison Central Library will follow from 4 – 7 pm. We invite everyone to attend to enjoy entertainment and participate in commemorative projects. Watch our socials and website for more information!

We have reduced construction costs by working closely with our architect, general contractor, engineering and design-assist trades teams. Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) is steadfast in our commitment to building the new central library within our available funding sources without requesting additional borrowing. We are under tremendous budget pressures, but we are confident in our ability to deliver the project within or close to the current budget. Our dedication to responsible financial management ensures that every dollar is used to its fullest potential for the benefit of our community. We will continue to update the public on project financials as time goes on.

We made significant changes to the building to reduce construction costs. The library is smaller, though this has been achieved primarily by reducing non-public spaces. The library’s exterior, inspired by the First Nations tipi, was simplified, but the design integrity remains. The interior exposed mass timber structure, which references traditional Métis log home design, was modified but remains the building’s primary structural support. The universally accessible design features are unchanged. SPL expects to be the first library in Canada to receive the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification.

Your financial support is crucial to the realization of the new central library. We aim to raise $15,000,000 through community giving. Donations of any size – a testament to your belief in the power of lifelong learning and community – are graciously accepted online and at any library location. Naming opportunities are available for many gifts.

We have been diligently saving for a new central library as a community for over 15 years. Between 2009 and 2026, the library levy increases incrementally. However, we’ve ensured that these increases are manageable for our community, even during challenging economic times. The average homeowner with an assessed property value of $371,000 will see less than $1.60 increases in 2025 and 2026, respectively. This means that by the time the library opens its doors, there will be no tax increases to fund the capital project or to pay back the loan.