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San Diego’s Downtown Library Breaks Ground Today

Officials today will mark the start of construction on a $185 million new central library in downtown San Diego's East Village.

The design for the project, at 330 Park Blvd., features a nine-story, dome-topped library with an auditorium, meeting spaces, sculpture garden, outdoor cafe, underground parking and a charter high school that will house about 400 students.

The new downtown library, a dream of civic leaders for almost two decades, will open in July 2013.

To date, $152.4 million of the $184.9 million cost of the project has been identified. That leaves $32.5 million that the San Diego Public Library Foundation must raise by January 2012 to complete the project.

Among those scheduled to attend the 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony are Mayor Jerry Sanders; Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego; Councilman Kevin Faulconer; and San Diego Unified School District Board of Education President Richard Barrera.

Also slated to attend is Irwin Jacobs, the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc., and his wife, Joan, who contributed $20 million for the new central library.

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