The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is one-step closer to finding a site for its new flagship Central Library. The OPL Board today approved the criteria and associated weightings that will be used to evaluate the candidate sites.
Two sets of site evaluation criteria were developed, one for the OPL stand-alone facility, and the other for the OPL-LAC joint facility, based on public input from in-person and online consultations, work by City subject matter experts, best practices, and technical expertise.
The public consultations showed that people wanted the new site to be accessible by people with disabilities, as well as by transit, foot and bike, and that it be near the cultural and administrative centre of the city. People also wanted a location that would allow the Ottawa Central Library (OCL) to be an iconic or landmark destination point. This input is reflected in the criteria. Summary reports on consultations are available online.
The site evaluation committee, comprised of internal and external resources as well as subject matter experts, will evaluate the candidate sites in early August. An independent Fairness Commissioner will monitor the process to ensure openness. The list of committee members and details on their evaluation process is available in the Board report.
The Board also directed staff to release the list of candidate sites identified by the City of Ottawa’s (City) Real Estate Partnerships and Development Office (REPDO). The list will be made public by end of day July 13, 2016.
A ranked list of sites for both OPL stand-alone facility and a possible OPL-LAC joint facility will be shared with the OPL Board in August as an in camera agenda item. Due diligence on the short list of sites will be undertaken this fall.
With these criteria, the OPL expects to find a site that will allow it to build an iconic Central Library that will serve the needs of generations to come.