Winnipeg’s Millennium Library to start ‘phased’ reopening following homicide

The Millennium Library will begin a “phased service resumption” starting Friday following a man’s stabbing death earlier this month.

The Donald Street library will be open for holds, pick-ups and returns starting at 10 a.m. Friday, the city said in a release Thursday.

Read more: Fourth teen charged in fatal stabbing at downtown Winnipeg library

The library is expected to fully reopen with additional security measures in place by mid-January, following what the city is calling a “comprehensive risk assessment and safety audit.”

“Our libraries need to be welcoming places for all Winnipeggers, and that begins by ensuring the safety of staff and visitors,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham in a statement.

Click to play video: 'Victim in Millennium Library homicide remembered'

Victim in Millennium Library homicide remembered

“We also need to look at how changes at Millennium Library fit within the overall approach to improving downtown safety.”

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The branch has been closed since Dec. 11 when 28-year-old Tyree Cayer was fatally stabbed at the library.

Police have charged four teenage boys in connection with Cayer’s death.

Read more: ‘He loved life’: Friends and family remember man killed at Winnipeg library

Three teens aged 14, 15, and 16 have each been charged with manslaughter. Another 14-year-old boy is facing second-degree murder charges.

In Thursday’s release, the city said it is meeting with various stakeholders, including staff, union representatives and a community working group to come up with “appropriate changes to create a safer experience for staff and visitors, while still keeping the library accessible and welcoming for all.”

That includes looking at a permanent redesign of the library’s lobby to include “a controlled environment without the use of hostile architecture.”

Click to play video: 'Victim, 28, identified in fatal Winnipeg library stabbing'

Victim, 28, identified in fatal Winnipeg library stabbing

“The Millennium Library is so important to many people, and introducing measures to ensure it remains safe and open to all users is critical,” said Coun. John Orlikow, chair of city hall’s community services committee.

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“The first phase allows for some library services to resume while work continues on a full-service resumption plan.”

Read more: No reopening date set for Winnipeg’s Millennium Library following homicide

The city says the library’s lobby will remain open for skywalk and parkade access, and for the public to warm up through the phased reopening.

The library had implemented security procedures — including checking patrons’ bags for weapons, alcohol and other prohibited items — in 2019, but the measures were eventually phased out following protests.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg’s Millennium Library remains closed as police investigate a stabbing'

Winnipeg’s Millennium Library remains closed as police investigate a stabbing

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