The Porterville City Council and Library and Literacy Commission will hold a special joint meeting and among the topics will again be looking at the possibility of developing a new library for the community.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 14 at the Council Chambers at City Hall on Main Street.

In its letter requesting the meeting, the commission wrote “it is time to develop together a funding strategy that supports a planned construction project for a future modernized library facility.”

In the letter, the commission also wrote it would like to discuss hiring a consultant that could develop a facilities master plan for a new library. The commission is also asking the city to form a Library Foundation, which would help with funding for the project.

The City of Porterville has been working on plans for a new library for sometime. The 2030 General Plan created in 2008 includes an implementation policy for expanding library facilities in the community. The ground floor of the current library was built in 1953 and expanded in 1957. The second floor was built in 1975.

The City staff report states the library is undersized by 12,000 square feet for Porterville’s population, which is about 60,000. The staff report also stated the library’s elevator no longer meets the American with Disabilities Act requirements.

Staff is recommending the City Council consider the recommendations made by the Library and Literacy Commission regarding the planning for a new library.

A 1,650 square foot Adult Learning Center was established in 2016 at Centennial Plaza. The staff report stated the city currently has $194,351 set aside for a new library.

The staff report went on to state funds needed are $500,000 for purchasing property for a new library. The goal would be to purchase the land in the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Another $2 million would be needed design the library with a goal to to do that in 2022-2023 and $18 million would be needed for construction, with the goal to do that in 2023-2024.

A presentation will also be made at the meeting on the library’s INTERNNECT program which offers high school students a chance to work with building design professionals and compete in designing public facilities. The program is in partnership with the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 

INTERNNECT student teams have been developing facility design concepts for the library commission’s and city council’s consideration by May.

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