Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The new Central Library near Petco Park in the East Village is on track to open in July, coming in on time and on budget, the voluntary head of the project for the city told the City Council.
A charter high school that will occupy the sixth and seventh floors of the facility will also be ready by then, businessman Mel Katz said in a presentation to council members.
Katz said the foundation raising money for the project is looking for another $10 million in funding. However, an unidentified donor has guaranteed the money if no one else comes forward, Katz said.
Councilman Todd Gloria, who will represent the area when new districts take effect in December, said his enthusiasm for the new building is growing.
"It looks magnificent,'' Gloria said.
City Library Director Deborah Barrow said the new facility will have a children's section three times larger than the current Central Library on E Street, with 56,000 items available, 25 computers, a stage and play area, and a spot for disabled children. It will be tied together with a Dr. Seuss theme, she said.
The library will also include a homework center, teen center, computer lab and a studio for CityTV that can be used for training students, according to Barrow.
The school inside the building will begin with 500 students in grades 9-12, said Helen Griffiths, executive director of Downtown Charter High.