EL CENTRO — The El Centro City Council approved the construction of a new city library Tuesday, February 4, during its regular meeting at City Hall.
The cost of construction, $20 million, will be paid through Measure P sales tax revenue collected by the city. Measure P was approved by voters in November 2016.
“We are grateful to our community who voted for Measure P,” said Adriana Nava, the city’s community services director.
The new library will be constructed at the corner of Villa Avenue and Frontage Road along Imperial Avenue in El Centro, which will provide command visibility. The current El Centro Public Library is located within a short walking distance west of the new site.
Nava said, “The new library will be an attraction to the community.” The concept brings homage to the history of Imperial Valley and will depict those themes in three general areas — adults, teens, and children.
An open space concept that yields an impression of a wide area will be used. Bookshelves will be at a height where a person can look above and over the shelves.
Also featured is a tiered excavation where parents and children can sit or stretch as they read their favorite books; a Jeep unit nearby will signify exploration of the desert.
The library is mother-friendly with a section for mothers to feed their babies and a family restroom to tend to the needs of young children.
According to Nava, even though the library will not have a coffee shop, there will be vending machines for snacks and coffee.
“Not everybody has a computer or internet,” said Nava. The library will have computers which students can use for research and for job seekers to apply online — a practice which is becoming the norm.
Another feature is a community room, that, according to Nava, can be used as a multiple purpose room for meetings. It has a divider so concurrent meetings can take place simultaneously.
“People can visit the library. It is one of the few places a person can visit for free. It is where they can enjoy the process of learning and discovery,” said Nava.