Busy Mississauga library to close for two years for a multi-million-dollar renovation

 

Sometimes a little short-term pain is worth the long-term gain.

Those who frequent Mississauga's vast and popular Central Library—located beside the Civic Centre on Burnhamthorpe Road—might be equal parts excited and disappointed to learn that the library will have to close temporarily while it undergoes the most significant renovation in its almost 30-year history.

The library has remained relatively untouched since it opened on Sept. 23, 1991.

"A dynamic, modern downtown Mississauga is emerging. The new Central Library will play a significant role in the transformation of our city's urban core," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement. 

"It will act as a community hub and gathering space that will facilitate learning and spark opportunity for the thousands of people who live, work and go to school in the downtown area and beyond."

The renovation is projected to cost $42.8 million.

The city says the library will close to the public on Dec. 24, 2020. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021, with completion expected in late 2022. 

The library will reopen to the public in winter 2023.

All five floors of public and staff space, including the Glass Pavilion, Breezeway, and the Noel Ryan Auditorium will be part of the renovation.

The city says the Glass Pavilion will become a flexible space equipped with computer and tablet technologies to accommodate after-hours research and study. The upgraded Breezeway will allow visitors to access digital collections and download library eBooks, movies and music. 

The city says the Noel Ryan auditorium will feature a modern, flexible space configuration, with updated technology for streaming and simulcasting.

According to the city, the renovation will add approximately 28,000 sq. ft. of public space to the existing building. An additional 6,000 sq. ft. of secondary space on the fourth floor overlooking Celebration Square is planned.

The city says the new facility will meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements to provide barrier-free access. It will also feature more self-serve options and access to enhanced technology, including a new Makerspace with sound and video studios, a maker studio, digitization, digital creation, and virtual reality capabilities.  

A teaching kitchen, reflection room, and rooftop terraces will be constructed. Residents can also expect an enhanced Open Window Hub (which supports homelessness outreach and prevention), children's area, and study spaces. The city also says there will improved food services.

"This is the first large-scale renovation of Central Library to take place since its opening in 1991," said Lori Kelly, Director, Mississauga Library, in a statement. 

"We are providing early notification of the closure now and will provide updates over the course of the year as more details become available. We look forward to bringing a bigger and brighter facility to Mississauga residents, and encourage everyone to share their ideas on how they will use the new space."

The city says plans are underway to temporarily relocate collections, programs, and activities while the Central Library is closed. 

Residents can visit the renovation website to have their say on what they would like to see as the new Central Library takes shape.

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