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Council Advances New Library Project

— The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to keep moving forward with a new downtown library. But as KPBS reporter Katie Orr explains some council members have a lot of doubts about the project.

The council voted 5-to-3 to authorize the mayor to send a letter of intent to the San Diego Unified School District. The letter says the school district will lease two floors for a charter high school if the library gets built. But Councilman Carl DeMaio says the city can’t afford a new library. Estimates put the project cost at about $185 million.

“Even under the best case scenario, we will be $35 million short in building this project. Upwards of $60 million if recent cost increases for construction are taken into account,” he says.

DeMaio was joined by Councilwomen Sherri Lightner and Donna Frye in opposing the project. But proponents say the project shows the council has vision and they say a new downtown library is overdue.

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