County supervisors agree with proposal to move Atascadero's library

A proposed new library for Atascadero took a step forward this morning when the Board of Supervisors agreed with the Atascadero Friends of the Library on how to proceed.

“Everything about our (current) library has grown, except the size,” said Grenda Ernst, president of Friends of the Library. She said 24,000 people now have library cards, the meeting room is overscheduled, and the library is generally overcrowded.

Should the project move to completion, the library would leave its current 7,000-square-foot space on Morro Road and occupy two-thirds of an empty 20,000-square-foot office building at 6555 Capistrano Ave.

The new location is not only large, but would provide more parking and is closer to the city’s downtown core. As part of the county’s involvement, county offices would go into one-third of the space.

The Morro Road site would go on the market, and proceeds from the sale would apply to the move.

The transfer is not a done deal. Friends of the Library still needs to raise an estimated $2 million, according to a staff report.

Nonetheless, supervisors were enthusiastic. A building shell already exists on the Capistrano site.

The Atascadero City Council tonight will consider releasing about $254,000 in funding that it previously set aside for the purchase.

The city initially allocated $35,000 in 1995, but the sum has grown to $56,500 including interest, according to the city. The remainder is about $198,000 generated from new development fees.

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