CARLSBAD — A pair of libraries undergoing facelifts are expected to be finished next year, according to city officials.
The Cole Library is about 60 percent complete, according to Senior Management Analyst Steve Didier. In addition, the Cole Library is on schedule and maintaining its budget.
A soft opening is slated for mid-February, while the grand opening is expected to be in late February, Didier added.
The Dove Library, meanwhile, will be closed from mid to late February until late May or early June. Construction is expected to run from March through May.
According to Library and Cultural Arts Director Heather Pizzuto, the Dove Library will remain open during the first phase of construction, although she said a final phasing plan has not been delivered yet.
The redesign is expected to add 10 to 15 years of life to the 48-year-old building, Pizzuto said.
“It will allow us to step back and see what the second generation of libraries will be,” she added.
Upgrades to the Cole Library, at 1250 Carlsbad Village Dr., include a new roof on the children’s wing, electrical and a new fire sprinkler system.
Additional drywall and the first coat of paint have been applied, while an elevator lift is currently being constructed.
In the coming months, Didier said, technology upgrades, furniture, fixtures and other automated materials will be installed.
The Cole Library will also bring more natural light with the addition of more windows, while renderings show a new courtyard plus a patio on the west side with a fireplace.
Patrons can still access the library through the children’s wing.
“This is a really significant enhancement,” Pizzuto said. “It will provide modern library services.”
As for the Dove Library, at 1775 Dove Lane, she said upgrades to the 16-year-old facility would keep it operational for the foreseeable future.
The auditorium will expand along with outdoor gathering places, programming and technology. The bookstore, meanwhile, will move inside.
In addition, Pizzuto said a space for teens will be created and four additional study rooms will be constructed. More seating, a technology lab and café will also be added.
“The auditorium will be fully reset as far as its technology,” Pizzuto added. “It will expand its programs as well as the size of groups who use it.”
Despite the closure, Pizzuto said the library has sustained its attendance through other resources across the city.
In her report to the City Council, she said traffic has increased for the Library Learning Center, 3368 Eureka Place, from 4,000 people per month to 15,000 due to the Cole Library closure. Print circulation has dipped, but the use of ebooks and electronic material has increased.
Pizzuto also plans to apply for a grant for high-speed broadband service through the Corporation for Education Networks Initiatives in California. It would increase the speed by a factor of 10 and cover all three branches.
The learning center is supplementing the Cole Library so residents can pick up materials and access other tools such as literacy programs, bilingual services and computers.
“We have increased the availability of computers by opening up our instruction lab,” Pizzuto said.
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Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.