SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Fairview Branch Library will receive more than $900,000 from the city toward interior renovations ranging from upgraded kitchen and staff areas to brand new plumbing and electrical systems.
The city council voted unanimously to award a $907,975 construction contract to JR Universal Construction, Inc. at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Construction work is tentatively scheduled to begin in August and is anticipated to last approximately 180 days. The library closed June 1, in preparation for the remodeling. Several book drops in front of the library will remain available for returns during the construction period.
Maria Carpenter, director of library services, emphasized the importance of the renovation project.
“It is important to continually care for our facilities, including neighborhood gems such as Fairview, with its iconic lettering and community family-room feel,” Carpenter said. “Overall, the improvements will refresh, brighten, and make the building operations and services more efficient and useful for visitors.”
According to city staff, three single pane window units, plumbing and light fixtures, electrical panels and the HVAC system will be replaced “to increase energy and operational efficiency and improved comfort for library patrons and staff.” Other improvements include new carpeting and paint through the library, added book displays, new shelving and more self-checkout stations.
City staff also noted that the kitchen, office, and staff areas will be renovated to provide separate public and staff kitchenettes, two staff offices, a staff break room and an upgraded and reduced-sized reception area.
The renovations complete the Santa Monica Public Library Branch Improvement Project funded by the city. The project began with the Ocean Park Branch in 2011 and continued with the Montana Branch the following year.
The Fairview Branch originally opened in 1931 as a 15 foot wide store front library on 20th Street before moving to its current location at the corner of Ocean Park Boulevard and 21st Street in 1956.
Carpenter noted that each of the five libraries within the Santa Monica system offer a different experience.
“Neighborhood libraries are a reflection of the people and their learning and recreation needs, as well as their physical surroundings,” Carpenter said. “Fairview Branch patrons include many who grew up within a few blocks of the library and many who consider the branch to be an extension of their own homes.”