Quick Take:

The architecture firm hired by Capitola to design its new library made a critical mistake by setting the building too...

Many of Santa Cruz County’s public library branches have gone through renovations and other improvements born out of the $67 million bond, Measure S, which voters approved in 2016. And several of the branch projects are nearing completion or just embarking on major upgrades.

The Santa Cruz City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to award a nearly $2.9 million contract to Sacramento-based construction company JPB Designs for a remodel of the Branciforte branch library on Gault Street.

The Branciforte library building was constructed in 1967 and hasn’t had any major upgrades since then, so much of the infrastructure needs modernizing, according to a report from city staff. The plumbing, electrical work, lighting, heating and cooling and security systems will be upgraded, and the building will be modified to meet accessibility requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The budget for the project is about $4.1 million, including $2.98 million for construction, according to a staff memo.

The city also announced recently that it will be receiving $5 million over five years to fund affordable housing developments, including the mixed-use downtown library project. The city is expecting to start designing and permitting the downtown library in the second half of this year.

Several other library projects are in various stages, Santa Cruz Public Libraries Director Susan Nemitz said Thursday in a meeting of the Library Joint Powers Authority. A summary:

  • Scotts Valley will be hosting a virtual community open house of its library at 6 p.m. on March 11 to preview library renovations that are scheduled to begin later this year. That project is expected to cost about $3.75 million.
  • The La Selva Beach branch was set to receive books this week, and a virtual grand reopening is set for 10 a.m. on March 20.
  • The Capitola branch library will host a grand opening on June 5, after two and a half years of construction. The new library should be finished by early April, after which books and staff will move in, according to Steve Jesberg, Capitola’s public works director.
  • The Boulder Creek library is set to open in early fall, Nemitz said.
  • The Aptos library is in the design stages, and is scheduled to start construction in late summer.
  • The Garfield branch library on the Westside is closed and the construction company has full access to begin working, Nemitz said.
  • Construction of the Live Oak library is pending an approval from the County Board of Supervisors on April 13.

For more details about Santa Cruz Public Library projects, click here.

Follow Isabella Cueto on: Twitter. Isabella joins the Lookout team as a government accountability reporter, building on her experience covering local government for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C.Before...