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Sketches of new library coming?

Posted: June 21, 2008 1:50 a.m.
Updated: August 22, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Architects could start sketching plans for the Newhall Library as soon as this summer if the City Council gives staff the green light to pay about $300,000 to a design firm.

City planners expect the New-hall Library to be 16,000 to 30,000 square feet and sit on the block in downtown Newhall where Main Street, Lyons Avenue and Spruce Street meet.

The city has already acquired most of the necessary land and construction is expected to begin in late 2009. The design phase will be funded by the city, but some of the future construction funding could come from the county, said Paul Brotzman, director of Community Development for the city.

The Newhall Library is part of the city's effort to freshen up downtown Newhall, a long-term city plan that was approved in 2005. Other revitalization plans include bringing landscaping to Main Street to attract a variety of new businesses and attractions.

Planners are asking that the City Council approve a contract Tuesday with Irvine-based LPA, Inc. to create the library's conceptual plan, including "a schematic interior space plan, furniture and equipment layouts," according to a city staff report.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council will give a final vote on adoption of the proposed 2008-2009 city budget, which totals about $165 million. The budget includes funding for three new sheriff's deputies, two commuter buses and funding for the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. Also on the council's agenda is the final approval of the plans to build the new 40,000-square-foot skate park, off-leash dog park and basketball courts at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex.

The proposal comes almost two weeks after city officials scooped their gold shovels into the dirt for the groundbreaking ceremony. When asked why the groundbreaking ceremony preceded approval of the plans, Parks and Recreation Director Rick Gould said the conceptual plans had already been approved.

He also said the construction contracts are awarded to companies in three parts, the first of which was for the grading and construction of a drainage basin, which was approved in March.

"Yeah, it probably would confuse people," he said. "We could have awarded the contract to one company, but we felt this was the best approach."

The City Council will meet in the Council Chambers of City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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