CLARE County Council has signed a contract for a new €8.7 million County Library in Ennis with Galway-based firm Coolsivna taking over construction of the building.
The contract signed on Friday in the Council Chamber at Áras Contae an Chláir by Patrick Gardiner of Coolsivna and Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling, in the presence of the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor PJ Ryan.
The development had been on hold following the liquidation of initial tenderer Kilmihil-based Keating Construction.
Coolsivna’s work is known to those in Ennis as the company has recently completed the Ennis Community College project, a 4,200-square-metre three-storey extension to the existing school.
As a medium-sized company, Coolsivna has completed projects in residential and healthcare settings and has also won the contract for the construction of the new Craughwell National School in County Galway.
The County Library project consists of a 2,321-square-metre building on the glór site comprising two public floors of library space incorporating the local studies centre, a separate art gallery and the County Library HQ on the third floor.
The state-of-the-art new build will provide a key resource for research, study, recreation and art in a centralised location adjacent to the well-established glór theatre.
It will also operate as a ‘My Open Library’ service, allowing access to the building during non-traditional opening hours. In addition, it will house the second fully accessible toilet in Ennis after a similar facility was recently opened in Tim Smythe Park.
Speaking at the contract signing, the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor PJ Ryan, said, “This project represents an important investment in an accessible and modern library service for the people of Clare and visitors to the county.”
Welcoming the recommencement of construction on site at a tendered sum of €8.7m, Council Chief Executive Pat Dowling commented on the significance of the project for all generations in the county and said he looked forward to its opening in the latter part of 2023.
Architects for the project, Keith Williams Architects, also expressed their support for the recommencement of the project while Anne Haugh, Director of Social Development, Clare County Council, acknowledged the contribution of all involved in getting the project successfully re-tendered and back on track.
Clare County Librarian, Helen Walsh, concluded that “the long-awaited new library will bring a wonderful collaboration together on the site, unifying the literary arts with the visual and performing arts”.