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New library on pace for fall opening

Innisfail’s new public library is on pace to open its doors in early October, Innisfail Town Council was told last week. Project manager Dale Mather provided an update on the building’s progress at the July 11 council meeting.

Innisfail’s new public library is on pace to open its doors in early October, Innisfail Town Council was told last week.

Project manager Dale Mather provided an update on the building’s progress at the July 11 council meeting.

Mather said the majority of the window framing has been installed and the remainder is expected to be complete sometime this week. Approximately 60 per cent of the windows have been installed with the rest anticipated to arrive on site shortly.

“Basically it’s getting to the position where it will be closed in,” Mather told council.

Over 28,000 drought-resistant plants, including grasses and wild strawberries, are currently being installed on the facility’s “living” roof. The plants will be placed on a peat moss-like material that will be installed over a membrane, which will reduce erosion until the plants are established.

“There’s quite a variety of plants but they’re all native to the area,” Mather said. “They’re selected because they’re the most likely to survive.”

The plants will be maintained under a two-year contact signed with the company that supplied them, Mather continued. An irrigation system installed on the roof will shut itself off if it detects rain and is set to water the plants early in the morning.

“Since they’ve planted these plants, they’ve basically been established and grown quite a bit already,” he said.

An in-floor heating system has already been installed in the section of the library that will house the senior’s centre and the Henday Association for Lifelong Learning (HALL). The first phase of the library’s flooring has been poured and will be left to cure for between 20 to 28 days before it’s stained, grinded and polished, Mather said.

Workers began installing the interior wall framing and placing the first coat of paint on the ceiling on July 11.

Mather said construction would be complete on Oct. 3, with the project’s close out expected to take place from Sept. 20 to Oct. 3. The occupancy inspection is scheduled for Oct. 3, with a two-day training session scheduled from Oct. 4-5. The new facility’s furniture will then be installed from Oct. 6-7, with the expected move-in date pencilled in for Oct. 11.

Even with a delayed opening due to a setback with steel shipments, Mather said the project would cost approximately $1 million less than the $9 million set aside in its budget.

“We will be under budget, (but) we will be a little bit over in our schedule,” he noted.

Innisfail Mayor Jim Romane asked Mather if he saw anything that could cause “substantial” delays to the project.

Mather said the contractors are working well together and are well coordinated.

“The way I see it, they’ll have to work hard to meet this date but the way it’s going right now all the contractors are there on time,” he said. “The initial problems that we had with a few people are behind (us).”