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Events Celebrating New San Diego Central Library Begins With Dedication, Street Fair

Video by Nicholas Mcvicker

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A series of events to celebrate the long-awaited grand opening of the San Diego Central Library in the East Village will get underway today with a dedication, a street festival and a sneak peak at the nearly $185 million facility ahead of Monday's public opening.

The "A Dream 30 Years in the Making'' celebration will begin with the 11 a.m. dedication and naming ceremony at the corner of 11th Avenue and Park Boulevard, and will include performances by the Navy Band, the Gay Men's Chorus and the Children's Choir.

The street festival surrounding the library is set to begin at noon.

Kids attending the fair are encouraged to wear "Fancy Nancy'' costumes for a reading with illustrator Robin Preiss Glasse.

Also at noon, attendees will begin touring the first floor and the auditorium areas which feature art installations by Donald Lipski and Einar and Jamex de la Torre; the Elizabeth and Dene Oliver I CAN! Center for Customers with Disabilities; and the Dr. Seuss-themed Denny Sanford Children's Library.

"This grand opening has been three decades in the making, and it's really a privilege to see the end result after all those years of hard work,'' Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday during his weekly news briefing.

Construction on the nine-story building at 330 Park Blvd., a dream of civic leaders for decades, began in August 2010. Charter school e3 Civic High, which can accept about 500 students, will occupy the sixth and seventh floors.

The nearly 500,000-square-foot library, which is more than twice the size of its predecessor, includes a 350-seat auditorium, a three-story domed reading room, a 9,100-square-foot children's room, a teen center, a technology center and a multi-purpose room, according to city officials. It also features an outdoor garden courtyard and cafe and 250 parking spaces on two levels.

Some streets in the East Village will be closed for the dedication and other events scheduled to end around 6 p.m., and attendees were encouraged to use public transportation. Road closures include 11th Avenue from J to K streets; Park Boulevard from J Street to 10th Avenue and K Street between 10th and 11th avenues, organizers said.

The library will open to the public at 9:30 a.m. Monday, although it's scheduled operating hours for future Mondays begin at noon.

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