Library of Birmingham Blog 14

By on 21/12/2010 in Blog

gamblesHead of Birmingham Libraries Service Brian Gambles with the latest in a series of blogs looking at the exciting £193million Library of Birmingham project.

Spare a thought for the builders working on the Library construction site this week, and perhaps another for the crane operators!

Bitterly cold weather but progress is being maintained with the Library now showing up to first floor level; visible above the hoardings is a forest of scaffolding supporting the cantilevered structure, giving a really good sense of the power and impact that the library will have.

I managed to fit in my most recent full tour of the site last week, before the weather broke, and standing on the first floor slab was a revelation. Weather notwithstanding, Carillion’s site management continues to be exemplary.

Its a credit to them and to the whole project that the second “Considerate Constructors” inspection has awarded them 38.5/40, up from 38/40 for the first inspection. An exceptionally high standard to achieve, maintain and even improve upon.

Some further good news that the Minister for Tourism and Heritage, John Penrose, has conducted a review of the decision not to list the Central Library, and has supported and reinforced that decision. No decision yet as to whether a Certificate of Immunity from Listing will be issued, but so far, so good.

Francine Houben, our architect, has been back in Birmingham speaking to an audience of about 140 students and business people – this was the third in a series of “Design Built-in” lectures held jointly by the Birmingham Institue of Art and Design (BIAD) and Aston University’s School of Applied Science and Engineering Design. “Libraries are the Cathedrals of this Decennia”, she says.

Consultation has just finished in the Central Library Foyer concerning the possible uses of the Library Terraces. These are hugely exciting outdoor spaces, and we think that the range of activities they could host is probably only limited by our collective imaginations, thank you for your ideas.

As ever, your input to the Library development will make the service the very best possible – your library, not ours!

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