U of C taking over space in Calgary’s old central library

Faculty of Environmental Design satellite location will be used as a teaching lab that doubles as a new event venue

Mario ToneguzziThe University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design is taking over the main floor of the old downtown library.

It will be a satellite location used as a teaching lab that doubles as a new event venue. In a news release on Monday, it was announced that the university will create an active street‐level collaborative research hub as “the new space will explore how innovations in design, construction, and operational management can work together to make cities more resilient, equitable, vibrant, prosperous, and healthy.”

Calgary Municipal Land Corp., the master developer of East Village, is in a lease agreement with the City of Calgary, which owns the Castell building – the old central library. CMLC is undertaking $200,000 of improvements to approximately 29,000 square feet of space comprising the main floor and basement of the building. That will facilitate the university teaching space. It is also undertaking a review of the building to assess potential for additional use on the upper two to six floors.

“The University of Calgary is pleased to partner with CMLC on this exciting project. The new space will cement our reputation as a community partner, while also helping to diversify the economy and activate an important landmark in downtown Calgary,” said Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary, in a statement. “Through our commitments to innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, UCalgary fuels the next generation of talented innovators who will transform our home, work and recreational environments for the future.”

Michael Brown, president and CEO of CMLC, said this is a unique opportunity for the organization to partner with the U of C.

“Our goal was to seek a partner that would bring a street-level activation that builds upon the energy and momentum already underway in East Village, and this partnership is a great example of that goal,” he said.

“For over 60 years, the building was an active part of the community with the Calgary Public Library team, so we are committed to keeping the building as an accessible community space.”


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