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S.D. City Council To Vote On Library Plan

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Aired 10/27/09

Plans for a downtown main library in San Diego might get a big push on Tuesday as the city council considers whether to put the project out to bid.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown San Diego Central Library.
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Above: Rendering of the proposed Downtown San Diego Central Library.

— Plans for a downtown main library in San Diego might get a big push on Tuesday as the city council considers whether to put the project out to bid.

The proposed nine-story downtown library would be a joint-use facility housing a charter high school.

Putting the project out to construction bid would give the city a new estimate for how much it would cost to build the library. The last estimate is four years old.

Supporters are expected to pack the city council meeting -- supporters such as eighth graders at KIPP Adelante charter school in downtown San Diego, one of the only middle schools in that area.

Freda Statom, director of development at KIPP Adelante, said the library would be a win-win for KIPP students because they'd have a new high school to attend and a new library full of books.

"Literacy is a strong component of our education," Statom said. "Participating in the hearing is really just an opportunity for our students to voice their opinion and really learn a life lesson."

Statom said KIPP Adelante has not been approached by the San Diego Unified School District or the City of San Diego to manage the proposed charter high school. However she says expansion is not out of the question.

Critics of the library plan are also expected to show up to the city council meeting. They say public funds could be better invested in other downtown projects. They also worry about the long term costs connected with operating the library.

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