The city is hoping construction on the Lloydminster Public Library’s new home to start by the end of the month.

Peter McHugh, manager of building maintenance, set out a rough timeline during Monday’s city council meeting. McHugh says the project is on a tight deadline and are hoping work can start as soon as possible. He adds the current timeline expects the space will be ready for the move-in by May or early-June.

A lease agreement for Unit 160 in Lloyd Mall was signed in September and the city took possession of the space on January 2nd. The unit used to house fashion retailer Ardene but they have since moved to another unit within the mall. The city is also paying a month-to-month lease on the current library location in the basement of the Atrium Centre.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the city is looking to be as fiscally responsible as they can and time is of the essence on this project.

“There’s various pieces to this and we’re trying to expedite it as soon as possible. We’re paying for two leases and this is the challenge you have when you move into a space like that. Maybe some people would have it lined up for the 3rd of January, but it just didn’t come together as early as we’d have liked.”

The contract for construction of the new space in the mall was awarded to Craftex Builders of Lloydminster for the amount of $999,000 with a five per cent contingency allowance. A total of seven bids were sent in and Craftex came in with the lowest bid.

“In this case, it was a bid that went to a local contractor. The second lowest bid was from a local contractor. It speaks well of our local contractors and the work that they do and it’s certainly always good to see local employees. Hopefully, we’re going to see that continue on other projects as we roll forward.”

The city has allocated $1.5 million for the total cost of the relocation project, $575,000 of which will be covered by a Municipal Sustainability Initiative grant. The rest will be taken out of the city’s capital reserves.

The Atrium Centre lease was set to expire in August 2020 and city council chose not to extend it and instead move the institution to a new location. The library board has expressed parking, flooding, security and accessibility concerns with the current location.