Sudbury's library board backs $55M Junction East project
The Greater Sudbury Public Library Board said Tuesday it supports the $55-milion Junction East project and asks library patrons and the public to take part in the Junction East Virtual Open House on July 21.
“The library provides social, health and economic benefits to the entire community of Greater Sudbury,” library board chair Michael Bellmore said in a release. “The new central library at Junction East will expand those benefits by expanding our audiences, enhancing accessibility, increasing our circulation of print, digital and 3D items, and supporting more partnerships with organizations that help the community.”
The City of Greater Sudbury and WZMH Architects will show what they have in mind for Junction East at the virtual open house on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Expected to open in 2024, Junction East would include the Greater Sudbury Public Library Main Branch (now located on MacKenzie Street) and the Art Gallery of Sudbury (now located on John Street, in the Bell Mansion).
Junction East would be located on the east side of Shaughnessy Street in the downtown core. In 2018, staff estimated it would cost taxpayers about $46.5 million to build Junction East. City council, however, was told last week the price tag has increased – by about 21 per cent – bringing it closer to $55 million. Construction costs have spiked and the building’s footprint has grown, the staff told councillors.
The city and WZMH also said they are beginning to examine the potential to integrate the Sudbury Theatre Centre and Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association into the project.
The design process for Junction East involved months of consultation with the architects and designers, partner agency staff and board members, stakeholder organizations and the community.
“It’s been great working with WZMH and DPAI,” Bellmore said. “The consultants really listen, and we can see our feedback reflected in the designs they’ve shared with us. This is our chance to let them know what we want to see in the new library so that it will best serve the needs of the community.”
Bellmore said he hopes past, current and future library patrons will chime in with what they are hoping to see at the new library, both online and at the open house.
“This is the start of a new conversation with our patrons. (The library) is committed to supporting the community, and the best way for us to do that is by learning what the community wants.”