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Turlock library expansion passes another hurdle
County approves funding strategy
Turlock Library
The population of Turlock has more than doubled since the current Turlock Library was built in 1968 (Journal file photo).

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors has approved a funding plan for the expansion project at the Turlock Library.

The Board passed the funding strategy and approved using a design-build method for the project and moving on to the bridging phase. The design-build bridging construction method refers to a process that has the owner, in this case the County, contract with an architect to design part of the project. Then it moves to a design-builder that completes the design and sees the project to competition.

The Board approved an estimated project cost of $12.9 million, with $9.7 million allocated to the actual construction. The motion passed 5-0.

“Construction costs are escalating across the nation and in the state, and every time there’s a tragic crisis or disaster like the one we have experienced in Northern California, it makes construction workers and materials hard to get and expensive to get,” said Stanislaus County Chief Operations Officer Patricia Hill-Thomas.

The goals of the library expansion are to increase services to children, teens and adults; incorporate innovative technology; add a community meeting space; have a single entrance; and additional storage.

Architects unveiled a first draft proposal at a community meeting Oct. 16 in Turlock that incorporates many of the features requested at previous workshops, though fell short of awing the community members present for the reveal.

“I think it’s fair to say that the Turlock community probably wants a lot more that what we are showing today,” Hill told the Board. “It’s challenging to deliver a project that meets everyone’s needs and expectations and stay within budget.”

Based on the community feedback from the October meeting, the schematic design presented to the Board was changed to include additional square footage, more parking, sound proofing and storage, and better designation of distinctive program spaces.

The presented plan would have the library completed in two phases. The first phase would be the construction of a new building on the south end of the library. The new building would house the children’s collection and would include a separate restroom for the children, a garden area, a courtyard and a multi-purpose room with a kitchenette. The multi-purpose room would have a separate entrance so that it could be used even when the library is not open.

The plan would keep the library’s current long nave that would house the adult collection, a centralized circulation area, and the public computers. One wing would have a teen room and another would be for staff use. At the north end a glass partition would separate the general area from a study area and office space for the Friends of the Turlock Library.

The plan also would close the entrance into the library from the Minaret side and move the entrance in the parking lot to the center of the building.

The schematic design is far from what will ultimately become the final design and community members are hoping that over the process, more square footage will be added to the design.

“If we can find room then we need to do that because we need to think beyond here and we need to be thinking about those kids and when they are 25, 30 years old and want to come there with their kids and the library will have to grow with them,” said Pat Portwood, the vice president of the Friends of the Turlock Library group.