Fact Check

Let's compare the specifics, using official city archives

Our community needs access to the facts and specifics for both options for the future of our downtown. Here, we provide you the details, as currently available through official documents found in the City's public record.

This is the first within an ongoing series, that will be updated and expanded.   We are starting with direct comparisons of the library renovation and the library as part of the mixed-use project the City proposes.

Library Misinformation

Many people have been led to believe the mixed-use library will be better.  We disagree.  Those promoting that option are primarily basing it on statements in a letter/memo from our former Library Director.

To her credit, our former Library Director did not have the mixed-use library plans yet available to compare the options.  Now that we do, let's look at them!

Library Comparisons

* The following is currently being updated, with City's new info.

Official City Proposals by Jayson Architecture

Library Mixed-Use

The Library Mixed-Use would include building a new library from the ground up, with:

  • A large commercial space

  • A 310 space parking garage

  • Housing, in an 8 story building (including garage)

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Renovated Library

The Library Renovation would strip, then modernize and enhance our historic library.  

  • Large walls of windows along the first floor

  • Includes all the bells and whistles

  • Replaces all dated and problematic materials

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Interior Space - Square Footage

Library Mixed-Use

30,000 - 35,000 square feet
Renovated Library

30,230 square feet

Outdoor Space - Square Footage

Library Mixed-Use

3,406 square feet

This includes total programable outdoor spaces:

  • Roof Deck

* Square footage does not include the "residential roof deck" that is open space allocated as part of the housing regulations for that part of the mixed-use project.

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Renovated Library

5,750 square feet

This includes total programable outdoor spaces:

  • Children's Garden

  • Community Patio

  • Staff Patio

  • Plazas 

 

* Square footage does not include sidewalks

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Environmental/Green Comparrison

Library Mixed-Use

The Library would include the following environmental components and advantages:

  • An array of solar panels along the green roof

  • A green roof

 

 

 

The Library would have the following disadvantages: 

Renovated Library

The Library would have the following environmental components and advantages: 

  • Far less "embodied carbon

  • Foundation and framing/basic structure maintained, following the environmental principal of repurpose, and renovate, instead of demolish.

  • A new reinforced roof, designed to support photovoltaics (solar panels) (pg. 43)

  • New electrical to support photovoltaics (solar panels) (pg. 53)

    • Current renovation proposal includes electrical upgrades to support solar panel load for up to 20% of library's expected energy use.  

      • For the City to achieve a more full solar panel capacity for this project, 2 options are discussed:

        • A Line Side Tap (PG&E Transformer)​

        • New electrical service w/ switchboard

  • Larger landscaped area

  • Heritage trees at historic library location maintained

The Library would have the following disadvantages:

  • Existing proposal does not include asking PG&E to upgrade the transformer to support full array of solar.

  • Existing proposal does not include purchase or installation of the photovoltaics (solar panels).

    • However, with the new State Library Grant, the possibility should be explored.​​

Estimated Costs

Library Mixed-Use

Estimate per square foot for building a new library:

$589.82 

(pg. 42)

Renovated Library

Estimate per square foot for the renovated Library:

$576.97

(pg. 42)

* Important Cost Notes:
  • There is still no "apples to apples" comparison for both options, containing the bells and whistles beyond the base.​

  • Both options require demolition and removal of the unusable and hazardous infrastructure/material of the current library, including: asbestos, seismically compromised areas of infrastructure, etc...

    • Only the Renovation Cost Estimate includes this expenditure in the calculations

    • For a truly fair cost comparison, demolition and disposal of the current library (or all the hazardous infrastructure/material thats removal has been deemed necessary) - should also be added to the cost model for the Library Mixed-Use Project

  • In both options (Library as part of the Mixed-Use project, or Renovated Library) - the library's books and retained program infrastructure must be moved.

    • For the Library Mixed-Use option, it would all be moved to the new library upon completion 

    • For the Renovation option, it would also need to be moved to an interim location for the duration of the construction.  This would include the added cost of securing temporary commercial space to make those books accessible for circulation in the broader branch system.

Children's Areas

Library Mixed-Use
  • Children's Area on the ground floor and is at the opposite side of the building as the roof deck.

  • Outdoor patio is for all ages and on the roof

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Jayson Renovation
  • Children's Area has its own dedicated Children's Patio/Garden just outside its ground floor location

  • Children's Area has views of heritage trees, landscaped areas, and Civic Center

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Teen Space

Library Mixed-Use

The Library would provide a room dedicated to teens.

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Jayson Renovation

The Library would provide a room dedicated to teens.

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Meeting Rooms

Library Mixed-Use

The Library would provide a couple of meeting rooms, internally located without the ability for windows to the outside.

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Jayson Renovation

The Library allocates numerous rooms for meeting and private study, located along the permitter, where they may have windows directly to the outside.

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Community Room

Library Mixed-Use

The Library offers a community room for after hours programs.  However, the community room is far from the outside roof deck, which limits use.

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Jayson Renovation

The Library allocates a large community room alongside the community patio, available for after hours programs.

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Staff Area

Library Mixed-Use

The Library offers a nice sized staff area.  However, it includes the following disadvantages:

  • No private outdoor area for staff during breaks.

  • Includes large areas of non programable hallway space for moving books from garage drop-off to staff area.

  • Only one small area of open windows to outdoors.

  • Designated staff area on only one floor, outside "circulation desks"

Children's Area_Ground Floor Mixed-Use.png
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Jayson Renovation

The Library offers a substantial staff area and amenities:

  • Large staff area on ground floor

  • Additional staff area on second floor

  • Multiple walls of windows to outdoors

  • A private staff-dedicated patio

* Extra staff room on second level not shown on this page.

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Location

Library Mixed-Use
  • The library would be up against a multi-level parking garage, with housing on top.

  • Centrally located in downtown.

  • Surrounded by commercial use and new high density housing in the pipeline.

  • No heritage trees would remain on the parcel.

Jayson Renovation
  • The library has direct views of the beautiful Civic Center, Civic Auditorium, and Greek Church.

  • Surrounded by heritage trees.

  • Closer to the edge of downtown.

  • Historic location with sense of place maintained.

  • More outdoor space.

Timing

Library Mixed-Use
  • The library would be part of a complex project including 4 different elements:

    • Library​

    • Parking Garage

    • Commercial Space

    • Housing

  • All elements would need to be both funded and built before total project completion and move-in ready.

  • The City has optimistic goals for starting construction.   Their timeline shifts every couple of months.

Jayson Renovation
  • The library renovation is ready to begin and only awaits City approval.

  • Jayson's renovation proposal is a complete proposal with detailed schematics, timeline and cost assessment.

  • Does not depend on funding and construction of other elements.

  • Start time would require moving current stock of books to an alternate space for duration of renovation.

Public Outreach/Input

The City has held many Council meetings, Library Subcommittee meetings, and community meetings on the subject of the library renovation/rebuild.  We will include more data, with links to resources on the specifics and timeline in the near future.
  • 2016:  57,788 people voted YES on Measure S - "To modernize, upgrade and repair local libraries in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Live Oaks, Scotts Valley, Boulder Creek, Capitola, Felton and La Selva Beach..."
  • The Measure S Campaign and reporting clearly led the community to believe we were voting on a parcel tax for upgrading and repairing existing libraries, not proposing to demolish our historic central library in the branch, to build a new one in a different location.
  • 5/14/2019 - 75% of Public Comment during the City Council Meeting was against the library being moved and built as part of a mixed-use project.
  • 6/23/2020 - 80% of Public Comment during the City Council Meeting was against the library being moved and built as part of a mixed-use project.
  • 10/27/2020 - 76% of Public Comment during the City Council Meeting was against the library being moved and built as part of a mixed-use project.
  • 2021 Our Downtown, Our Future formed and have since directly talked to over 4,000 community members, gathering signatures and handing out thousands of informational brochures and materials.