Residents of Prince George will be able to have their first look of the new circulation area at the Prince George Public Library today. The Bob Harkins branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting on Tuesday, July 28 and proper physical distancing and sanitization protocols will be in place. There will also be a limit of 20 visitors allowed inside the branch at the same time.
Due to the on-going construction of the new library entrance, service will be limited to borrowing and dropping off of books, DVDs, and other library materials. Visitors must now also access the library via the front Rotunda entrance off Canada Games Plaza, between the Library and the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre. The entrance from the parkade is currently closed to help staff manage traffic and limit the number of patrons visiting at one time.
The library entrance and circulation desk project involves the installation of a two-and-a-half storey addition to the north side of the library and a new circulation area. The project integrates environmentally-friendly features, such as the Library’s new circulation desk countertop, which is made of PaperStone – a material that is manufactured using recycled paper and non-petroleum resin. This downtown project is designed and built by companies based in Prince George, including the architect (Chernoff Thompson Architects North) and construction company (Datoff Bros. Construction).
Since its construction in 1981, the Library has faced challenges with the main entrance open-air stairway. The library’s current entrances pose a challenge for many, including young families, people with disabilities, seniors, and staff. Earlier this year, gouncil approved a revised budget for the project, which now also includes a renovation to the circulation area. The library entrance project and improvements to the circulation area will address long-standing issues with security and accessibility.
- An elevator with access from both sides providing access from the parking area, plaza level, main floor, and second floor.
- Improved stairs for access from the main lobby to the second floor.
- Windows to maximize natural light and an open atmosphere.
- All entries will be accessible through sliding glass or push button access.
- Enhanced accessible parking and drop off zone at parking level.
Construction of the library entrance is expected to be completed by the fall.