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New Central Library opening date delayed

Construction projected to be complete “soon,” but library official declines to be specific

Six-story contemporary building wrapped by bands of what looks like corten steel alternating with supports and windows. Plus limestone.
Central Public Library rendering
New Central Library, Austin Public Library/Facebook

Downtown’s new central library, which broke ground four years ago, is suffering construction issues that will delay its projected May opening, according to a Tuesday Austin Monitor story.

It’s hardly the first time that the public library, approved in 2006 with $90 million bond vote, has postponed its opening date. Originally set to open in 2016, the building has twice received requested funding increases from the Austin City Council, bringing the current total to $120 million.

According to the Monitor, Mayor Steve Adler and city staff explain that a change in overall vision for the project, rather than cost overruns, caused the necessary funding increases. The story also noted that Adler called for staff to provide the public with more specific about those changes.

Designed by renowned regional architecture firm Lake/Flato, along with national design firm Shepley Bullfinch, the 198,000-square-foot building is meant to a significant public space, and ambitious plans for it include a six-story, sunlight-filled atrium, surrounded by collections, event space, reading porches overlooking the lake and Shoal Creek, and a cookbook-themed coffee shop, along with a number of sustainability-oriented features.

According to the Monitor, Interim Director of Libraries Toni Lambert told the council last week that the building’s opening has once again been delayed, with no specific new date available.

In addition, once construction is complete, the Monitor reports that staff will need five to six months to prepare it for opening.

In the meantime, you can check out this nifty time-lapse of the library’s construction, though it ends in May 2016.

Construction of new Central Library overdue, again [Austin Monitor]

Austin Central Library's Cookbook Cafe Will Patch Together Recipes [Eater Austin]