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Reduce, reuse, renew

Planned library will use recycled trash bags and sawdust as building materials

Posted: December 8, 2009 10:27 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The Newhall Library - the planned building the city hopes will become the $25 million focal point of downtown - is going to be built using recycled trash bags and sawdust.

Santa Clarita is using the new building material, which combines recycled material with resin, to meet the city's goal of using environmentally friendly material. And compared to wood, the recycled bags are less expensive and more durable, said Assistant City Engineer Curtis Nay.

The library's design is about 95 percent complete, he said. Some finishing touches, including the color scheme for the library, still need to be worked out.

Located at the intersection of Lyons Avenue and Main Street, the library would be be two stories and have nearly 27,000 square feet, Nay said.

The library would have 60 computers and have free wireless Internet access for people bringing their laptops or portable phones said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz.

A special emphasis has been placed on areas designed specifically for children and teens, Ortiz said.

A children's reading room would be painted with pictures depicting Newhall's early history, she said. Giant pictures of "Howdy Doody," a Western-themed children's show popular in the 1950s, would decorate some of the walls.

A light tower in the middle of the library, above the children's area would be lit every time the library has special reading events, Nay said.

Quiet study rooms and a family literacy center, which would host free reading lessons, also have been incorporated into the design, Ortiz said.

At a meeting Monday, some members of the Newhall Redevelopment Committee said the design looked closer to a ski lodge than a library, and worried that the design conflicted with the area's Western look.

Paul Brotzman, the director of community development, told committee members that the design will meet all Newhall redevelopment guidelines and incorporate the flavor of Old Town Newhall.

Officials hope to start building the library in June, Nay said. Construction would take about a year to complete.


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