Submitted by the Office of Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan—
Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan led a groundbreaking ceremony today to commemorate the official start of construction on the San Lorenzo Library expansion project. The $9.4 million project is the first major exterior renovation of the library in 45 years and will double the size of library to nearly 20,000 square feet.
The expanded library will add a 1,500 square foot community room, café, dedicated teen area, space for used book sales, additional public computers, and a learning center for small group classes and tutoring. The library will be a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) “Silver” certified building, verifying that it is a high performance green building – the first of its kind in San Lorenzo.
The San Lorenzo Library expansion project will also be the first project to benefit from Alameda County’s first-ever countywide Project Stabilization Agreement, or PSA (formerly known as a Project Labor Agreement).
The PSA is the result of a collaborative effort between the County, local leaders, and the Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County and its 28 affiliated unions. It outlines expectations and benefits for county-funded construction projects with the labor community and promotes the training and hiring of target populations, such as veterans and low income residents.
Area residents have participated in neighborhood meetings, needs assessments, surveys and focus groups since 1991 to identify the community’s vision and priorities for a revitalized library. Alameda County was pursuing a plan to double the size of the library when, in 2011, the state eliminated funding for the project in order to balance the state budget. As a result, many community-approved projects, like the San Lorenzo library expansion, were put in jeopardy.
Supervisor Chan led an action at the Board of Supervisors in 2012 that secured $18 million per year over the next five years for economic development projects in unincorporated Alameda County. It is this funding that makes possible the library expansion and several other San Lorenzo projects.
“Today we celebrate the first of many improvements that will greatly enhance our community over the next several years,” said Supervisor Chan. “Up to $9.4 million of the redevelopment money that I saved is dedicated to the library project.
Another $4.7 million will be available for the Hesperian Boulevard Streetscape renovation, more than $4 million will be available for a civic plaza, and additional funds will support the development of senior housing. These exciting improvements will help make sure that San Lorenzo continues to be a great place to call home.”
“The expansion of the San Lorenzo Library is the first project to utilize Alameda County’s new Project Stabilization/Community Workforce Agreement,” noted Secretary-Treasurer Andreas Cluver of Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, representing 28 affiliated local unions. “The Agreement is working as intended, creating good-paying construction jobs for locally qualified residents who are eager to get to work. The fact that the library expansion will be built by area residents whose paychecks will help grow the local economy is one more cause for celebration on this significant day.”
Construction on the library expansion is expected to last 15 months and be complete in the spring of 2015. A temporary library opened on February 5 at 16032 Hesperian Boulevard, approximately one block from the old library on Paseo Grande. The revitalized library will open its doors to the public in summer 2015.
The San Lorenzo Library serves the community of San Lorenzo and neighboring areas, including Ashland, Fairview, Cherryland and unincorporated Hayward. More than 70,000 people live in the library’s 8.6 square-mile service area.