San Diego is getting a new expensive main library. The City Council took an historic vote last night to go ahead with construction of a new central library downtown.
Anyone who has lived in San Diego for a while knows that the dream of a new central library has been in and out of the news for years. The architect, Rob Quigely, designed its imposing dome shape in the 1990s. The site on Park Boulevard in the East Village was chosen a decade later, and now, finally, a contract will be signed to break ground. The First phase is estimated to cost about $150 million.
Mayor Jerry Sanders reminded the city council that $17 million has already gone into planning and well over $100 million has been scraped together so far to build it. Another $32 million is required to finish the job. Without that, the doors won’t be able to open in 2014, the state mandated deadline. The vote was not unanimous.
“We’ve invested nearly 20 years into planning for this new central library,” Sanders said. “As you make your decision, I want to remind you that not one cent of this project’s funding can be used for other city services. It can’t be used for branch libraries, can’t put additional police or firefighters on the streets, and it can’t be used to fix potholes.