Atascadero library boosters seek six-month extension on fundraising

A group raising money to pay part of the cost of a new library in Atascadero needs another six months to raise funds, it has told the county Board of Supervisors.

The Atascadero Friends of the Library and the county agreed two years ago to split the costs of a larger library at 655 Capistrano Ave. in Atascadero. The project is being undertaken jointly with a project to create a North County Services Center on the second floor of the building.

The agreement, known as a memorandum of understanding (MOU), called on the Friends of the Library to come up with $2,060,000 by Dec. 29, 2012, which is two years after the close of escrow. 

The Friends have been raising money, but they aren’t quite there yet, San Luis Obispo City-County Library Director Brian Reynolds wrote in a staff report to the board. They have amassed $1.9 million.

Giving them another six months “serves the interests of both parties,” Reynolds wrote.

Reynolds is suggesting that the county agree to extend the deadline to June 29.

The total cost of the project, according to Reynolds’ report, is $8.4 million -- a figure that includes buying the property and “all tenant improvements necessary to convert the existing building and grounds to a new library and North County Services Center.”

The library will occupy approximately one-third of the building. The cost for that portion is $5.7 million.

Officials hope to have the library open during the 2013 centennial year.

The Board of Supervisors has placed the question of extending the deadline on Tuesday's agenda. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the County Government Center, 1055 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo.