New Capitola Library edges skyward

An artist's rendering shows what the new Capitola Branch will look like. Courtesy Santa Cruz Public Library

Construction work is marching ahead on the new Capitola Branch Library at the corner of Clares Street and Wharf Road. After the previous library was demolished at the start of the year, the new structure is moving skyward.

        “We’re about 10 percent through construction,” said Steve Jesberg, Capitola Public Works Director. “We got started January and, yes, there were some delays due to rain. Most of the foundation has been poured and we’re making great progress. We’re still on target to be done a year from now.”    

        Jesberg said that there are no major changes yet. Workers did find some “small issues underground.” But they were straightened out and the project continued as planned.

        “The contactor is doing a great job,” Jesberg said.

         Otto Construction out of Sacramento and Monterey is heading up the project.

            An estimated 60,000 people visited the library each year, making it one of the busiest in the county. But the aging mobile structure was never meant to be a permanent home for the Capitola Library, and it was showing its age before it was torn down.

            At the groundbreaking ceremony Mayor Mike Termini said the project’s start was a long time coming.

            “In a universe of great days, this is the greatest,” he said.

            The overall cost of the 11,700 square-foot, single-story library is the $13.1 million. The new library will be a significant leap from the comparatively puny 4,300 square-feet of the former one.

        “The big part of this project is the community support we have seen,” Jesberg said. “We got about $600,000 from our community, including residents and businesses. It’s just phenomenal, the support we’ve received for our new library.”

        Four major donors each kicked in $50,000 and about 20 donors rounded up between $10-15,000 each, Jesberg said.

            Measure S, which voters passed in 2016 to fund library construction and upgrade projects throughout Santa Cruz County, provided $10 million, while the city’s general fund and redevelopment money made up $2.6 million, Capitola City Manager Jamie Goldstein said.

            Gayle Ortiz, who sits on the fundraising committee, said that silent fundraising efforts in the run-up to the campaign garnered $550,000 from such donors as the George Ow family and Marc Monte.

            The new library will include such amenities as a community room, an expanded children’s wing, study and reading rooms, reading “nooks,” an outdoor reading deck, a fireplace and a space for teens.

            For information, or to make a donation, visit capitolalibraryfriends.org.


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