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UPDATE: Stevenson Ranch to get its library

Posted: September 10, 2013 1:58 p.m.
Updated: September 10, 2013 4:39 p.m.

Los Angeles County supervisors approved a lease agreement Tuesday to open a new county library at a shopping center in Stevenson Ranch.

The library, which is due to open by May 1, 2014, is set to be located at 25950 The Old Road — a little north of the amphitheater in the shopping center at The Old Road and Stevenson Ranch Parkway.

“We’re very excited,” county Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd said Tuesday. “It has taken a long time to finally find a site, and we think it’s a great site.”

The library carries an estimated price tag of $19.5 million, according to county documents.

That includes $10 million for operating costs over the life of the eight-year lease, with an additional $3 million for rent, $4.5 million for tenant improvements, $1 million for books and other library materials and $1 million for equipment, furniture and fixtures.

“To serve the needs of residents and families in our West Ranch communities, my office has been working closely with the (West Ranch) Town Council, our local school principals, the superintendent and our homeowner associations to provide this 12,000-square-foot, full-service library,” Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in an email.

The library will include a teen center, an 80-seat community meeting room, express checkout machines, computers, WiFi and more than 60,000 books, Antonovich said.

The idea of putting a library in Stevenson Ranch began to gain steam a few years ago, around the same time the Santa Clarita City Council voted to remove the Newhall, Valencia and Canyon Country libraries from the county system in favor of a city-administered one.

While county officials have looked at the shopping center as a potential location for the library for some time, they needed to get approval from every tenant in the center to move forward, Todd said.

Todd said the last tenant in the shopping center signed off on the library location about two weeks ago.

Don Fleming, president of the West Ranch Town Council that represents unincorporated areas in the western Santa Clarita Valley, said the library is a much-needed addition to the area.

“It’s something that the West Side can call their own,” he said Tuesday. For about a year, West Side bookworms have used an express library, a modular-style building at Dr. Richard H. Rioux Memorial Park in Stevenson Ranch.

Antonovich was not present at Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting but would have voted in favor of the project, said his spokesman Tony Bell.

Along with the Stevenson Ranch library, county officials are also working to expand the Castaic Library, which is currently closed for renovation.

That library should reopen some time in 2014, Todd said.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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