Clare County Council has announced the appointment of consultants for the design and delivery of the flagship County Library project in Ennis.
The proposed €8.6m project will see the new library building developed at the site of the existing Glór facility on The Causeway Link providing a new County Library for Clare to replace the existing De Valera Library on Harmony Row.
A full design team has been appointed to progress the design and planning phases of the new build project and the Council anticipates that contractors could be on site during early 2017, subject to statutory planning procedures and approval.
Earlier this year, Clare County Council was allocated a €3 million capital grant towards the cost of the proposed project under the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s Capital Funding Programme for Public Libraries. An additional €1 million in EU funding was also allocated from the Southern Regional Assembly’s Operational Programme 2014-2020. Clare County Council will fund the balance of €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project.
Cllr. James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has welcomed the signing of the design contract, adding, “The development of a new County Library facility has long been sought after by past and present Members of the Council, as well as by the local community.”
“Clare County Library is one of our most valuable resources and it is appropriate therefore, that it is provided with a modern facility befitting its status from which to continue to deliver a vitally important service to the people of Clare,” added the Cathaoirleach.
Gerard Dollard, Interim Chief Executive of Clare County Council said, “Clare County Council has committed to providing €4.6 million of the overall cost of the project from its own resources which underlines the Council’s ongoing commitment to provide improved facilities and infrastructure.”
Mr. Dollard added that the proposed development “will strengthen Clare’s reputation as a cultural centre as well as support economic and social activity in Ennis.”
The architect-led design team appointed today by Clare County Council comprises Keith Williams Architects Ltd (Architects), Ove Arup & Partners Ireland Ltd T/A Arup (Civil & Structural), Axiseng M & E Ltd T/A AxisEng (Mechanical & Electrical), AECOM Professional Services (Quantity Surveying Services) and OLM Consultancy (PSDP).
Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian commented, “Ireland has seen some ambitious library buildings developed in the last decade and some outstanding and beautiful architectural structures have been achieved as a result. It is envisioned that the new County Library will be one of these buildings combining technologically advanced services whilst keeping the customer at the heart of service delivery. It truly will be a library for the 21st century.”
“This development will provide a model of best practice and will include measures to maximise the sustainability of the scheme for the County,” commented Ruth Hurley, Senior Executive Architect with Clare County Council. “It is anticipated that the building design will provide a contemporary response to the modern library whilst remaining user friendly, energy efficient and adaptable for future changes in use,”
Pictured in Áras Contae an Chláir at the contract signing marking the appointment of consultants for the design and delivery of the flagship County Library project in Ennis L-R: Niall Barrett (Director of Service, Finance, Clare County Council); Helen Walsh (Clare County Librarian); Cllr. James Breen (Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council); Keith Williams (Keith Williams Architects Ltd); Cllr. Ann Norton (Mayor of Ennis); Gerard Dollard (Interim Chief Executive, Clare County Council); Ruth Hurley (Senior Executive Architect, Clare County Council); and Richard Brown (Keith Williams Architects Ltd).