Edmonton is growing rapidly and EPL is keeping pace. We have several approved library building projects at various stages of planning, design and construction. From brand new libraries in new locations to renovations and expansions in existing communities, we're growing to serve our customers and communities even better than ever!
About EPL's Mill Woods Branch
The new Mill Woods Library, Seniors and Multicultural Centre will be situated in the immediate vicinity of the Mill Woods Town Centre and Mill Woods Transit Centre. The new library is planned to be in the order of 25,000 square feet, almost double the size of its current location (approx. 12,800 square feet). Expected completion date is Spring 2015.
Currently the Mill Woods Branch is the only library branch serving residents in the City’s southeast, defined as the area south of 63 Avenue/Argyll Road and east of Gateway Boulevard.
In 2010, the Mill Woods Branch was the second most visited EPL branch with nearly 633,000 visitors (a 5.6% increase over 2009). Items borrowed from the Mill Woods Branch increased by 19% during this time with over 1.2 million items borrowed in 2010 ranking it third among all EPL branches.
The Mill Woods Branch serves an area of about 84,800 people.
Mill Woods is a culturally diverse community, with many residents speaking languages other than Canada’s two official languages of English and French. The 2006 federal census shows that non-official languages are the mother tongue of 29% of the target area’s residents, as compared to 26% of Edmonton residents. As well, 17% of the Mill Woods Branch service area’s population speaks a non-official language most often at home, which is higher than the City figure of 13%. The 2006 Canada census data also indicates that compared to Edmonton as a whole, the residential neighborhoods of the Mill Woods Branch service area have a higher percentage of immigrants, with 28% of the population having been born outside Canada, as compared to 23% for the City of Edmonton.
The Mill Woods Branch works collaboratively with Mill Woods agencies and organizations to provide programs and services that meet identified needs, particularly those of newcomers and immigrants of all ages.
The cast iron mural formerly found at the north entrance of the Stanley A. Milner branch will be transported to the new Mill Woods branch. The mural was done by Jordi Bonet, a well-known artist from Montreal. Mr. Bonet's works can be found in many Canadian buildings, in particular the Place Ville Marie in Montreal.
There are ten sections to the mural, each weighing 1100 pounds. Shapes and figures are integrated into the mural. The dark surface was attained through burnishing and glazing. The work measures 10 x 20ft. the cost of the mural was $23,000. The project was commissioned for the opening of the Centennial (now Stanley A. Milner) branch in 1967. The mural is currently in storage and will be moved to the new Mill Woods location soon.
In the News
Calder is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Edmonton. Originally an independent town housing workers for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, it was incorporated into the City of Edmonton in 1917. Many of the houses from that era still serve as private residences for Calder citizens today.
The Calder Branch of the Edmonton Public Library serves an extremely mixed clientele of approximately 20,000 residents and encompasses the neighborhoods of Athlone, Calder, Kensington, Lauderdale, Rosslyn and Wellington. The west-east boundaries of the branch catchment area are St. Albert Trail and 97 Street; the north-south boundaries are 137 Avenue and Yellowhead Trail.
The Calder Branch is currently located in a small leased space within a retail strip mall at 12522 132 Avenue, where it has been operating since 1992. The existing branch is unable to meet the demands for study and community space, and limits the library’s ability to provide programming, adequate collections and the full range of services offered at other branches in the city.
EPL and architects Manon Asselin (Manon Asselin Architecte) from Montreal and Marc Boutin (The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc.) from Calgary envision the new Calder Branch as a welcoming, inviting space that encourages community gathering, conversation, studying and learning, exploration through play (for children and others), reading, listening and viewing, and use of computers and library services. The library space will be designed for maximum customer convenience and comfort, as well maximum workflow efficiency.
This building project will relocate Calder Branch from its current leased space of 5,330 sq. ft. to a new 10,000 sq. ft. stand-alone LEED® Silver certified library facility that will meet the needs of a growing community and achieve the standard for small community branches. The increase in library space will result in increased usage by the community. This will support rejuvenation of the surrounding neighbourhoods and expand active partnerships with schools and community organizations.
The proposed location for the new Calder Branch is south of Wellington Junior High School located at the intersection of 127 Street and 131 Avenue – a short distance from the existing location. This proposed site is easily accessed via foot, private vehicle and public transportation, and has the added benefits of exposure along 127 Street.
One of the design goals of the new building will be to create an engaging, welcoming and inviting space where people of all ages can come together to celebrate, learn and be active contributors in their community. The proposed design will showcase an intimate relationship between form and the environment in which it is situated as a means of celebrating the important role the library plays in the community. The architectural consultants envision library customers being at the centre, the banquet table as opposed to the bookshelf, emphasizing the customer service focus. The central gathering point in the library will radiate into a series of branches or “arms.” The proposed sequence and arrangement of spaces in the library design share some similarities with the historical railway pattern that gave birth to the town of Calder more than 100 years ago. The iconic building will act as a community hub and will branch out on the site, symbolizing the library reaching out into the community.
The new library will be a dynamic, adaptable space, where visitors can quickly identify where to locate the service they need. The design will emphasize the importance of natural light with large windows and glazing on all sides of the building. The building will take full advantage of the extensive southern exposure that is available on the site. There will be a welcoming forecourt with mineral surface, seating and designed planting. Various garden spaces are envisioned for the surrounding park area to extend the library out into the landscape and complement adjacent programming areas.
Other features being planned for the new Calder Branch include:
- Larger community room and flexible program space
- Quiet study room
- Collections that continue to meet community needs
- Central reading area with fireplace
- Freshwater aquarium in the children’s area
- Ample public parking with easy access to the entrance and 24-hour book return
- 20 public access computers, plus three early literacy stations
- Comfortable seating, reading and flexible collaboration space
We would love to hear what you think about the new Calder Branch. Please complete the short questionnaire where you can give us your feedback and comments.
(Manon Asselin Architecte & The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc.)
The proposed new Capilano Library would help overcome the physical challenges of the current location and strengthen the library's presence in the community, allowing for the full range of EPL programming and services. The proposed new branch location is at 6225 101 Avenue NW.
The Capilano Library serves the Capilano, Forest Heights, Fulton Place, Gold Bar, Ottewell and Terrance Heights neighbourhoods. The library will serve approximately 17,250 visitors annually.
The current Capilano Branch is located in a small leased space on the second floor of the Capliano Mall. The existing branch is unable to meet the demands for study and community space, and limits the library’s ability to provide programming, adequate collections and the full range of services offered at other branches in the city. The only way to access the current library is by elevator or staircase. If the elevator is down it can cause problems for library users with mobility issues.
The defining feture of the new site is a portion of the Fulton ravine, a roughly 60 meter wide forested depression that divides the property into an east side facing 67 Street and west side facing Terrace Road NW. The remainder of the site is relatively flat with a slight sloope toward the ravine.
The proposed interior of the new Capilano Library will have a ravine zone which will be a space for study and seating with the ravine as a background. There will also be community rooms along with a collection of private and semi-private spaces.
Other new features will include:
- 24 hour book return
- Ground level access
- Water fountain
- Makerspace area
- Quiet study room
- Community program room
The new Capilano Library will aim to achieve a mimimum LEED Silver rating and hopes to exceed it. The project is well positioned to recieve several points for sustainable sites. Credits include proximity to public transportation and parking capacity.
Other possible credits include alternative transportation such as bicycle storage and fuel-efficient vehicles, and open space maximization. The consultant team also plans to use regional and recycled materials with the possibility of adding points for rapidly renewable materials and certified wood products.
We would love to hear what you think about the new Capilano Branch. Please complete the short questionnaire where you can give us your feedback and comments.
Downtown Library Renewal
The downtown library is an important place for Edmonton to connect, learn and belong with over one million visits per year. It is now time for the Stanley A. Milner Library to reflect the civic pride long associated with its location, reputation and innovative programs and services.
With your support, we will renew the entire library with an emphasis on building an innovative and community-centered public space with the added benefits of increased safety and energy efficiency. The revitalized Milner Library will be a core component of a rejuvenated, thriving and vibrant downtown and will be better equipped to needs the growing and changing needs of our customers.
EPL is passionate about sharing. EPL shares expertise, information, technologies and spaces with Edmonton for learning, connecting, creating, discovering, enjoying and enriching our communities. The revitalized downtown library has been designed as an expression of these values and the important civic role the library plays as a key social and creative space in the city.
Revitalization of the downtown library will transform the customer experience and better integrate the inside of the library and the city around it. We will create purposeful spaces to collaborate, learn, access technology and attend events as well as more fully enjoy the outdoor space offered by Churchill Square on the north and Centennial Plaza on the south.
The transformation of the Milner Library will include:
- Connecting you to technology, resources and each other.
- Learning...in the heart of the downtown.
- Belonging to a community where there is a place for everyone.
Our goal over the next five years is to transform the downtown library experience through the renewal of the Stanley A. Milner Library. While we are anticipating municipal funding for a substantial portion of the $60 million project, we need your support to make it possible. The target is $10 million in community support.
We would love to hear what you think about the proposed changes to the Stanley A. Milner Library. Please complete the short questionnaire where you can give us your feedback and comments.