On the Leading Edge of Technology: Second Preservation Centre Will Be Built in Gatineau
October 31, 2017 – Gatineau, Quebec – Library and Archives Canada
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announces the launch of a procurement process for the construction of a second archival preservation centre in Gatineau, Quebec.
The new state-of-the-art facility will be located immediately behind the existing Preservation Centre. With ideal conditions for preserving archives, the new building will reduce operating costs, increase and maximize the space required, and reduce the environmental footprint thanks to green and sustainable infrastructure. All Canadians will ultimately benefit from better service.
This new building will be constructed according to the latest international preservation standards, thereby enabling Canada to preserve historical records and national treasures under optimal conditions. The timing is opportune, because LAC’s analyses indicate that the various buildings used by the institution will reach their maximum storage capacity within a few years.
LAC is not only adding new spaces that are essential for meeting its current and future needs for the storage and preservation of analogue documentary heritage (particularly official federal government records, for which LAC is the continuing memory), but also making serious efforts to digitize its holdings to make them even more accessible.
LAC will also take advantage of this major project to optimize the storage space at the existing Preservation Centre.
“Our government is proud to protect and promote Canadian stories and culture. Library and Archives Canada is home to a treasure trove of essential documents, records, artifacts and artworks that help tell the story of who we are. The new Gatineau 2 project will provide up-to-date facilities, equipment and conditions for Library and Archives Canada to preserve its collections and make them accessible to Canadians for generations to come.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“This is a major investment that will yield significant economic benefits for the region. I am delighted that this facility will enrich a hub of knowledge, in a key sector in the city of Gatineau, that already encompasses the CEGEP, the Maison de la culture cultural centre and the current Preservation Centre.”
- Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament for Gatineau
“As a flagship institution, Library and Archives Canada is a leader in the archival community, and it must continue to play that role. Our current world-class Preservation Centre in Gatineau will have a new neighbour that will be just as remarkable! This new state-of-the-art facility will be able to protect our rich collection for centuries.”
- Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
If the procurement process is carried out as planned, construction will start in 2019 and the building will be operational two years later.
Procurement options analysis shows that a public-private partnership is the best value-added model. With this type of partnership, the private sector has a major share in the risks and financing of the infrastructure. LAC has worked closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada during the past year to draft the procurement documents.
Through its request for qualifications issued on October 31, 2017, the Government of Canada has launched the process to select a consortium to oversee the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the new facility.
In opting for a green and sustainable approach, since 2011 LAC has significantly reduced the number and size of its preservation spaces: from 22 buildings with 237,000 square metres to 5 facilities and 124,000 square metres.
It is estimated that the cost of construction of the new preservation facility, optimizing the vaults of the current Preservation Centre and the financing of the project could amount to nearly $400 million. To this amount will be added the costs related to the maintenance and operation of both facilities over a 30-year period of service.
The public will be able to consult LAC’s collection throughout the construction period, except for a few brief service interruptions.
Library and Archives Canada
For procurement-related questions, please contact:
Public Services and Procurement Canada
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