Construction of Calgary’s Central Library has reached a milestone as the building is now considered weather-tight and, according to officials, the $245 million project is not leaking funds.

“We are on time and we are on budget,” said Susan Veres, senior vice-president of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). ““We are, right now, entering the final phase of construction on the library. We’re one year away from the opening.”

“This library has been in the works, being planned, since the ‘90s. The City of Calgary has actually been very fastidiously setting aside budget for that since then."

According to Veres, the focus of the project is now on the building’s interior.

“We are laying carpet, we are finishing drywall, we are taping, we are putting in phone systems and computer systems. It’s all of the finishing detail of the interior which is actually the most comprehensive. More trades now will work on the library then they have previously.”

Veres says the construction project has benefitted from the economic downturn. “We’ve actually seen reprieve in budget and that’s because the softer recessionary factors that we’re dealing with in Calgary has meant some advantages to the project where we’ve been able to secure teams of people more economically and materials have actually come in more economically.”

The 280,000 square foot building is expected to host roughly two million visitors annually and Veres says it will be much more than a traditional library.

“Libraries have changed over the years. They’ve evolved beyond just housing a collection of books to actually being an area where people meet for a variety of reasons.”

CMLC plans to hand the building over to the Calgary Public Library in September 2018 ahead of the grand opening of the Central Library.