In my exuberance last week to list all the good things happening in Atascadero — especially downtown — I overlooked two major items: efforts to open a new library and a school bond passed in November.
Two weeks ago, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of property on Capistrano Avenue for a new library. The building, located in Atascadero’s historic “Hotel Park” development, is a large two-story structure that has been without tenants since it was completed four or five years ago. It is a magnificent building that looks like it should house a library.
Hotel Park is a portion of the civic center where founder E.G. Lewis had hoped to build an elegant hotel. The future library site is now home to dozens of offices. It’s right next to Bank of America and across the street from Colony Square.
This means the library is coming back downtown, something planners and others have been pursuing for years.
Friends of the Library has been working diligently to raise funds to pay for a larger library for the community. The present one was undersized on the day it opened.
It’s fortunate the new building became available and the county had the wisdom to purchase it for a library. In addition to a library, there will be some county services in the building, too.
Friends of the Library still has to raise about a million bucks, so its work is not done yet. Think of the Friends of the Library if you want to make a worthwhile donation.
Another reason for celebration is the community’s overwhelming support for a $117 million bond on Nov. 2.
Leveraged with state and federal dollars, the funds could mean up to $140 million that can be spent on upgrading each campus in the district. The money could go to everything from heating and cooling to electrical, lighting, technology, school furniture and more.
With more than 60 percent of voters in support of the bond measure, Atascadero voters showed their belief in local schools and ensured that our campuses will be there to support local learning for decades to come.
Even more to cheer about.
Reach Lon Allan at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.