Library of Birmingham Blog 5

By on 18/11/2009 in Blog

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

gamblesLots of development and activity to ponder on, as we approach the end of the beginning!

Temporary closure of the part of Centenary Square needed for the Library construction has been achieved, no objections were received to the public advertisement, and early enabling work has been completed so that Birmingham Archaeology can undertake further investigative work. Should be interesting – another open day for the archaeology on December 3rd, we hope many people will want to find out more about the site’s industrial past.

“Green energy” testing is underway to establish whether ground water can be used for heating and cooling systems. The building is designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating – the highest environmental national standard for construction, we want to stay on course for environmental excellence.

A decision on the planning application is anticipated on 26th November, so that really is a crucial date for the project. Cabinet will consider a report on the final contractual arrangements with Carillion, and the detailed finances, on 14th December. If both these milestones are successfully passed, construction work on site begins in earnest in January. Carillion are working closely with the Council’s Employment Access Team to ensure local people most marginalised in the current labour market have access to the 250 construction jobs the project will create, including at least 25 apprenticeships.

More and more activity too outside of the design and construction which of course is the centre of public attention. We will shortly be starting on work to work out a strategy for relocating the contents of the Central Library to the Library of Birmingham, we have set out a “First Eleven” ICT projects for detailed exploration and costing, and discussions with possible partners are progressing nicely – more another time.

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