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SD City Council Votes To Go Ahead With New Central Library

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Aired 6/29/10

San Diego City Council has voted to go ahead and build a new central library downtown. The building will break ground in August, but millions of dollars still need to be raised to complete the project.

San Diego City Council has voted to go ahead and build a new central library downtown. The building will break ground in August, but millions of dollars still need to be raised to complete the project.

Artistic rendering of planned downtown library as provided by the office of the architect working on the project.
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Above: Artistic rendering of planned downtown library as provided by the office of the architect working on the project.

The idea of a new central library for San Diego has been talked about since the 1970s, and site selection began in the 1990s. The vote to go ahead and start phase one of construction this summer is prompted by a state deadline to break ground or lose $20 million in funding.

The first phase will cost more than $150 million and the city has thrown $80 million of public money into the hat. Philanthropists have come forward with another $40 million.

As Council President Ben Hueso said, the city will depend on more generosity from its citizens to get the library finished by 2014.

"It's going to require all of us as a community to make this commitment to make this project happen eventually," he said.

Council members said one benefit of starting the project soon is that it will give 1,000 construction workers a job. The contract requires that 85 percent of those workers be local San Diegans

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