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Groundbreaking for the New Alameda Main Library.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- On Tuesday, March 1, at 1:00 p.m., involved citizens, local dignitaries, and state officials will assemble in a groundbreaking ceremony for the City of Alameda's new Main Library building.

The ceremony will be held at the site of the new Main Library, 1550 Oak Street (at its intersection with Lincoln Avenue).

According to Library Director Susan Hardie, "Tuesday's gathering truly represents the realization of a 30-year dream."

Among those participating will be State Librarian Susan Hildreth, Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, and Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson.

Hardie explained, "Alameda opened its first Main Library in 1903, funded by a $35,000 grant from industrialist Andrew Carnegie. The replacement of the 13,500 square-foot Carnegie building and annex is the culmination of a three-decade-long initiative to address sizing and structural issues. The Main Library was forced to move to a temporary site in 1999 due to these concerns."

"Upon its completion, scheduled for April 2006, the 50,000 square-foot Main Library building will serve as a model for similar facilities and will incorporate a number of community-friendly features such as public art, meeting rooms, a computer lab, a cafe, and small group study rooms. It will provide much-needed room for growth from the present 130,000 cataloged volumes, periodicals, and electronic media and our 70 readers' seats," she added.

The new Main Library will continue to be supplemented by two neighborhood facilities, the West End and Bay Farm Island libraries.

In 2000, Alameda voters overwhelmingly approved a $10.6 million bond to help build a new Main Library and improve the branch libraries. In 2002, the State of California approved a $15.5 million Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act grant to offset 65% of the cost of building the new Main Library.

Thomas Hacker Architects Inc., of Portland, Oregon, has been retained for the design of the building. The firm is nationally known for their work on similar projects.

"The groundbreaking event is sponsored by the Alameda Free Library Foundation and Friends of the Alameda Free Library and is dedicated to their long-time members who have worked tirelessly for many years to secure a new main library for our City," noted Hardie.

A reception in Alameda City Hall will follow the ceremony.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 22, 2005
Words:378
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