Dynamic and Unique City Centre Library Officially Opens Downtown
September 24, 2011
Surrey, British Columbia – Thousands of people took part in the grand opening community celebration today for the new Surrey City Centre Library.
“The new City Centre Library is not only a stunning and innovative building, but its services will benefit the people of Surrey for years to come,” said Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government is pleased to support projects such as this one through the Economic Action Plan – projects that not only stimulate the economy, but contribute to the well-being of communities across the country.”
“Literacy is one of the most important factors in determining a person’s success in life, and libraries play an important role nurturing this skill,” said Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon. “The new City Centre Library provides a beautiful gathering place for Surrey residents to learn and develop an appreciation for books.”
“Our new library has already become a wonderful community gathering spot and is attracting visitors from all across the region, creating a new cultural and social hub in the city,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “It is architecturally stunning and provides an iconic landmark for City Centre. I believe that innovative and unique architecture has the ability to shape a city’s identity and create the heart and soul of a community.”
The governments of Canada and British Columbia each committed $10 million to the $36 million project under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The City of Surrey provided the remaining funds through the Build Surrey Program, the most comprehensive construction program in Surrey’s history.
The 77,000 square foot facility was designed by local architect Bing Thom and boasts a number of green features, including a green roof, and will aim for LEED Silver certification. The facility is equipped with the latest in technology, including over 80 public computers and access to wireless service. It also features a large children’s library, teen lounge, coffee shop, group study areas, and classroom space for Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies Department.
The Build Surrey Program contains $2.8 billion in construction, including $800 million in new community projects and $2 billion worth of facilities being built in partnership with other levels of government. These projects will act as a catalyst to stimulate further private sector investment and job creation, and will enhance the quality of life for residents.
Other projects in City Centre include the new City Hall and community plaza, Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, seniors centre, covered youth park, performing arts centre, as well as walking trails and beautification initiatives. In conjunction with the major new residential, commercial and academic developments underway, these investments will prepare the city for growth, provide the community with world-class facilities and help redefine Surrey.
In addition, the City is moving forward with stage two of its City Centre plan by developing a comprehensive strategy for community building that is designed to create a vibrant downtown core that is attractive, safe and unique.
“We want people to feel connected to downtown and we want to implement a vision that meets their needs and desires. In order to bring the community into the planning process, the City has been engaging residents, employees and youth in the area to gather feedback on what they like about downtown, what is missing and how it can be improved,” said Watts. She adds the information collected will help identify the policy, programming, and beautification programs that are necessary for City Centre.
As part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund is providing funding to approximately 4,100 infrastructure projects across the country. Since March 2009, the federal government has committed over $505 million to more than 440 projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund across British Columbia.
Since October 2008, over $5.6 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 36,000 jobs over the life of the projects.
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For further information on the Government of Canada's infrastructure investments in British Columbia, visit www.creatingjobs.gc.ca. To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca