To help revitalize Edmonton’s downtown core and introduce an improved, inviting common space, the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) began efforts to renovate its flagship Stanley A. Milner branch in late 2014. The primary goal of this project was to create a space that would welcome families to spend an entire day on site engaging and learning with EPL’s myriad of resources and interactive spaces.
Staples Professional was brought into the project a year prior to the library teardown, assisting EPL with sourcing and procuring furniture for the expansive property, in addition to handling workplace design, project management, and installation. It was a high-pressure, high-touch assignment as our team collaborated closely with EPL and a large number of vendors throughout the project, including almost daily touch points during the procurement phase.
Reopened in Fall 2020, the Milner Library now boasts a children’s library (Shelley Milner Children’s Library) that is over 11,000 square feet, a 10,000 square foot Makerspace, a fabrication lab, Gamerspace, a two-storey interactive simulation wall (The Wall), and PÎYÊSÎW WÂSKÂHIKAN (Thunderbird House) EPL’s first dedicated Indigenous space for meeting, sharing and connecting. Midway through the Milner Library project and thanks to the tireless effort of our team, EPL commissioned Staples Professional to help furnish renovated branches and new satellite locations all across the city.
As is the case with renovation projects of all sizes, the Milner rejuvenation project encountered a few challenges. From teardown in January 2017 through to reopening in September 2020, EPL’s plans adapted to meet these challenges. Architectural changes led to interior design changes, which in turn required a revised workplace furniture plan. Additionally, the floor plan had vastly varying needs in each interactive space, saddling our team with the task of sourcing furniture with a consistent look and feel. Despite these challenges, Staples Professional came through.
Due to the project changes, the Milner renovation projected to exceed its original budget and timeline. One of the ways EPL mitigated this was by adjusting plans for furnishing the space, creating an opportunity to work with Staples Professional. Our team responded quickly to the changed plans with a wide range of solutions, including furniture from Davis, Global, Allsteel, Heartwood and Loftwall. Working closely with EPL and the project’s interior designer, we provided a walk-through of examples at our showroom, Global’s showroom, as well as a pop-up location downtown. When designs changed, our team ensured that there was a solution to work in each unique space.
As the project went on, EPL had to work with suppliers who ranged in responsiveness. Keenly aware of this, our team focused on delivering fast and flexible service, making sure EPL felt supported throughout.
The revitalized Milner Library now features over 28,000 square feet of community space (more than double), including a wide range of interactive resources that meet the needs of today’s families. In the four years working closely on Milner, our team has built trust with EPL and has earned the opportunity to help furnish EPL’s renovated and newly added satellite locations all across Edmonton.
For more information, visit Staplesprofessional.ca/furniture