Wicklow town’s new library moved a step closer this week with the signing of a contract for the construction work on transforming the old bank building.
The former Ulster Bank building on the town’s Main Street has been sitting idle for a number of years and was purchased in 2017 by Wicklow County Council as the location for a new library and County Archives.
Contracts for the construction phase of the development were signed on Monday (July 1st) by Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council,
Since then, following procurement, O’Connell Mahon, Architects, has been appointed to lead up this project.
A plan has been developed for the conversion of the six storey building to a public library along with Wicklow County Archives and Local Studies was prepared by O’Connell Mahon Architects. Construction will be carried out by Byrne and Byrne Ltd of Bunclody.
It is anticipated that the building element will take approximately 12 months to complete. Allowing for fit out and stocking, it is hoped that the new library will open to the public is late summer/early autumn of 2020.
Welcoming the contract signing, Mr Curran said: “The new library and archive will be a centre of excellence for the town and county. The County Archives and Local Studies will add to tourist numbers and complement Wicklow Gaol. I want to acknowledge the generous financial assistance received from the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government (URDF Funding) and the Department of Rural & Community Development (Library funding)”.
Cllr Irene Winters, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council, stated: “The people of Wicklow town have always been avid users of the local library. A new library and archive will ensure an annual footfall of 150,000, which will have a knock-on effect for other businesses in Wicklow town”.
The plans for the building are as follows:
- Salthouse Lane entrance – Local Studies
- Upper basement – Archives
- Ground floor, Main Street – Books and items for loan
- 1st floor – Books and items for loan
- 2nd floor – Study area, computers, magazines and + Community Room
- 3rd floor – Art gallery and exhibition area
The drawings and plans for the project may be viewed at the current Wicklow library, at Market Square.