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City buys gear for Newhall library

Community: Nearly $2M will pay for location’s new equipment, furnishings

Posted: February 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Construction crews continue work on the Old Town Newhall Library on Tuesday. Construction crews continue work on the Old Town Newhall Library on Tuesday.
Construction crews continue work on the Old Town Newhall Library on Tuesday.

The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday approved spending nearly $1.99 million for library furniture, electronic equipment and an increase in expenditures for architectural design and staffing — the vast majority of which will be going to the Old Town Newhall Library currently under construction.

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the furniture and equipment for the Old Town Newhall Library, with Council member Laurene Weste abstaining because she lives too close to the library.

Although redevelopment funds for the library have dried up now that redevelopment agencies have been eliminated, the city will still be able to pay for the Newhall Library construction because it will be using funds from bonds and cash transferred last March from the redevelopment agency from the city, public library funds, and savings realized from the Canyon Country library repairs, said Redevelopment Manager Armine Chaparyan.

The 30,000-square-foot, 2-story building is expected to be completed this fall, according to an agenda item report.

The total cost of the furniture is $703,800, which will be used for informal and formal seating throughout the library, according to the agenda item.

The library will also receive $848,000 worth of electronic equipment, and $300,000 for increased costs in architectural design services and $130,000 for increased staffing services.

The electronic equipment includes 104 public access computers, which includes six for early learning, 10 for children, 52 for adults and two laptop kiosks that will hold 36 laptops for patrons to checkout while they are in the library, according to the agenda item. The equipment also includes eight printers for the public, and 15 desktop computers and two laptops for staff use.

While the new Newhall Library is set to receive 36 laptops, both the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library and the Valencia Library will also receive six laptops each, with one laptop kiosk each. The laptops at the other branches will cost a total of $46,000, with the funding coming from public library funds.

Canyon Country Advisory Committee President Alan Ferdman asked during the public hearing for the meeting why the Newhall library was receiving such a large amount of resources when the revenue generated by the Newhall community is smaller than other communities, such as Valencia.

City Manager Ken Pulskamp replied by saying the city is trying to improve all of its libraries, but said the Old Town Newhall Library will be the nicest library in the city once it is completed.

“The Newhall library will be the nicest library by a long shot,” Pulskamp said. 

Mayor Laurie Ender said that the Newhall library will wind up being a draw for people living in other communities.

“This library won’t just serve that small area; it will serve the other communities as well,” Ender said.  


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