Library turns to naming rights to help recover renovation costs

CARLSBAD — Naming rights are big business.

For the Dove Library and the city’s Library and Cultural Arts Foundation, it’s no different.

On Tuesday, the City Council, minus Mayor Matt Hall who was absent due to an illness, approved a resolution for naming rights for the soon-to-be renovated building.

The city hired consultant David Baker of the Giving Design Group to find areas and spacing in the library suitable for “significant” donations from residents and businesses. The goal is to recover nearly two-thirds of the cost of the renovations, which total about $6.4 million.

“We created naming opportunities to offset the costs,” said Heather Pizzuto, the library and cultural arts director. “We have established gift levels.”

The naming rights, however, are not in perpetuity, Baker added, but for the life of the building.

Baker said he identified nearly two-dozen locations throughout the building, which could recover about $4.8 million. Pizzuto said two prospective donors have already expressed interest in donating.

The most expensive identified are the Grand Courtyard, the Great Hall and Children’s Library, all which carry a $1 million price tag. The other areas range from $8,000 to $350,000.

“This is a cost recovery and major gift initiative,” Baker said.

The council, though, pressed Pizzuto and Baker about smaller donations so more of the community could have a chance of being part of the library’s legacy.

Councilman Michael Schumacher said, for example, bricks could be engraved for $250 for those residents who don’t have several thousands or $1 million to donate. He said it would create a sense of community pride and more interaction with the library. The council echoed Schumacher’s idea while councilman Mark Packard said significant donors versus those with less funds are “not mutually exclusive.”

Pizzuto and Baker, however, pushed back citing the ordinance and following it under those conditions for naming rights.

However, they said bricks or other options, such as names on an LED board or plaque, for residents to take ownership will be explored and hopefully instituted in the coming months.

Baker, who has and is working on several similar projects across the country, said creating a significant donor base is critical in recovering the funds allocated for the upgrades.

The pricing levels, he added, came from several factors such as duration, market value assessment and cost of the facilities or amenities offered.

Despite the back and forth, John Lucas, secretary of the foundation, said the group has received several large endowments in the past several years including nearly $2 million from one family.

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