Library built by Fleming students wins OLA New Library Building Award


Wilberforce LibraryThe Fleming-built Highlands East branch of the Haliburton County Public Library has won a 2016 Ontario Library Association (OLA) New Library Building Award, it was announced last week.

Students in Fleming’s Sustainable Building Design and Construction program built the 2,240-square-foot library in 2013 in Wilberforce. It was one of five recipients of the OLA’s annual award, which recognizes community development, new technologies and a commitment to environmentally sensitive design. It further encourages and showcases excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries across the province.

“We are extremely proud of our students and faculty team who were a part of this build. Designed by HavenCraft Design, the students in our 2013 class did an exceptional job of building a structure that would give back to the community in which it is housed while requiring minimal energy to operate in return,” says Sandra Dupret, Dean of the Haliburton School of Art + Design and Principal of Haliburton Campus. “As a public library it has become a central hub in the community of Wilberforce. Partnering with the local elementary school, the library offers an education and learning space for the children, serving as the school’s library. It is also the community’s municipal meeting space, after hours, for town meetings. It is truly a community hub and well deserving of this great recognition by the OLA. ”

The award presentation was made on July 7 at the Annual Institute on the Library as Place conference, held at Sheridan Conference Centre in Oakville. The jury that selected the Wilberforce Library, stated: “This library demonstrates a strong focus on sustainable building efforts. Energy efficient materials and methods are paired with a natural look and feel that makes it fit in the landscape. The interior has a cozy, cottage-like feel. The windows let in lots of light as well as attractive views of the natural surroundings. The wattle-and-daub exposure and truth windows showing straw bale construction stages add a nice historical touch. Increased opportunities for programming in particular, and community engagement overall, speak well for the community’s future.”

The library’s sustainable features include:

  • Straw bale walls with local clay plaster
  • Locally sourced FSC-certified timber frame
  • Drywall made of recycled Tretra-paks
  • Green roof entry porch
  • Clerestory roof for natural light
  • Locally milled siding
  • Radiantly heated slab floor

“The award recipients, along with their architectural firms, have created wonderful spaces that have become tremendous community assets,” said Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director of OLA. “They have shown that libraries can be well-designed places for play, energy, serenity and excitement.”

The Sustainable Building Design and Construction program, part of the Haliburton School of Art + Design, runs for 20 weeks from April to August. The program – the first of its kind in Canada – allows students to design and build a completely sustainable structure from start to finish, showcasing green building technologies and energy-saving techniques.

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 5,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 71,000 alumni.



Media, for more information please contact:
Laura Copeland
Communications Officer
705.749.5530 x 1370