Here's an article from today's Daily News:
New library plans could start taking shape tonight
Halifax city hall could soon be cracking the spine on plans for a new flagship library in downtown Halifax.
Council is set to award a tender for planning consulting services tonight. The new library, which would be built at Spring Garden Road and Queen Street on land formerly occupied by the old Halifax Infirmary, has been talked about for years.
The idea was first introduced three years ago in a library board report to regional council.
At that time, the board was looking for a $26-million, 110,000-square-foot building to replace the 38,000-square-foot main branch on Spring Garden Road.
In the last few years, the size and cost of the proposed library have been rumoured to be up to 160,000 square feet and $30 million. But council has never voted on any particular budget.
Consultants’ reports presented to council over the years outline the prohibitive cost of heating and fixing up the 56-year-old main branch.
Despite its age and layout, the branch gets 400,000 visits a year, says a recent report.
It houses over 280,000 titles.
Last spring, the CEO of the library board noted that its library services section hadn’t started to budget for the building’s design and construction.
But Judith Hare was expecting money would be set aside for a building program and some conceptual design work by the end of this year.
The request for proposals for consulting services for the new library specifies that the library would share the space on its main floor.
About 7,000 square feet would be set aside for commercial uses, such as a coffee shop or a newsstand, and parking could be part of the lot plan as well.
It will still be a while before they move forward with construction and it's not even clear at this point that they have the required land.