Saskatoon library construction to begin in October – Saskatoon |

Construction for the new Central Library in Saskatoon is now set to begin in October after higher-than-anticipated construction bids derailed plans.

Remediation on the new library site begins in July, with the goal of having the 321 2nd Ave. N. location open by the summer of 2027.

In September 2023, the Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) said despite several cost estimates, construction bids were much higher than budgeted.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Public Library looking at next steps of construction project'

Saskatoon Public Library looking at next steps of construction project

A construction manager was brought in to give their input and help the organization understand the differences between the bids and the estimates.

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Even though the Frances Morrison Central Library was sold off with a possession date set for December 2026, former SPL CEO Carol Cooley said in September that they would not be moving out due to the delays, noting there is a clause in place for that.

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The SPL said it has worked closely with the architect, general contractor, and engineer and trades teams and has reduced construction costs.

“I’m extremely proud of everyone who has contributed to the redesign process, which has allowed us to maintain the original vision and cultural integrity of this building while moving forward with this project in a financially prudent manner,” said Beth Côté, the SPL’s interim CEO and director of libraries.

A KPMG report from 2017 said the Francis Morrison Central Library, which was built in 1966, was non-compliant with modern building codes and fire requirements for nearly 20 years.

One of the many violations pointed out in the report was that the building didn’t have a sprinkler system in case of fire.

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