National Library renovations could go €10 million over initial budget

National Library renovations.
National Library renovations. Source: Sirkel&Mall, VLS Interior Architecture

The renovation of Estonia's National Library in Tallinn may cost €10 million more than first estimated due to rising construction prices. Plans for how to move forward are being discussed.

The cost of renovation initially totaled €65 million and, of that, €53 million was earmarked for construction work. But prices for construction materials have risen by approximately a third over the last year.

The prices could increase to somewhere in the region of €10 million, ERR's Estonian news portal reported on Thursday.

Mihkel Mägi, real estate development director of Riigi Kinnisvara AS and project leader, said discussions need to be had about how the development moves forward.

"Today, we can't say exactly how big this increase is," said Mägi, adding the two bids for construction work need to be reevaluated.

"It depends on whether the cheapest offer still qualifies or not. If it is known, we can also say what the increase in price actually is and how much," said Mägi.

Head of the National Library Janne Andersoo said it was not yet clear how to proceed.

"We know that the situation in the construction market is tense right now. I can't say any exact plan yet, because it just doesn't exist now," Andersoo said.

A meeting will be held with the Ministry of Culture on Thursday.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture Tarvi Sits said it is not a surprise the projected costs had risen.

"Now we have to review whether there are any possible savings to be made, whether it is possible to move on in stages. It would definitely be unthinkable to keep such an amount in our back pocket," he said.

According to the current plan, the renovation of the National Library building should last from 2022 to 2027. During this time, the library and National Archives will move into the former building of Danske Bank. 


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Editor: Helen Wright

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