DESERT HOT SPRINGS —With little fanfare but great enthusiasm, construction started March 20 on a new library, estimated at $12.5 million, in this community.
Construction is expected to be complete in April 2021, Stephen Gilbert, deputy director of Riverside County’s real estate division, told Uken Report. The county is picking up 100% o the cost, which is being taken from the library fund, he said.
A ground breaking ceremony had been for April 1 but given social distancing conditions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the ceremony with an expected 200 people in attendance was abandoned.
“We for sure outgrew our small library and the added community rooms that will be part of this new library will be put to good use,” Councilmember Russell Betts told Uken Report. “This is a much-needed modern new amenity for our city and we are very appreciative of our County Supervisors for recognizing this need of our city. We are thrilled to be one of three new libraries being built in Riverside County.”
Fourth District Supervisor and Chair V. Manuel Perez, who worked with the Riverside County Library System over the past two years to pursue a new replacement structure in Desert Hot Springs, joined his colleagues in approving the final financing piece to move the project forward and today unveiled the design of the future building. .
“This new library, a direct investment in education, literacy, and lifelong learning, is a phenomenal improvement that means a lot to the community,” said Supervisor Perez. “The facility will come with amenities that have been missing in the community library for a long time. Features such as study rooms, adult and teen spaces, a children’s library, opportunity spaces, and a community room. Students and community members will have a great place to learn. I share in the excitement of the people of Desert Hot Springs who have anxiously awaited this new library.”
The modern, state-of-the-art structure will replace the branch built more than 45 years ago, in 1972, when the population was nine times smaller than today. At 15,500 square feet, the new media center will be four times larger than the current 3,527-square-foot facility.
The facility will be located on county-owned property at Palm Drive and Park Lane.
The larger facility will allow the county to expand programming and provide improved technological capabilities for research and training, with plug-in areas for laptops and personal mobile devices. Features include a large community room, study rooms, “opportunity spaces” to be used for a variety of activities, a children’s library with a dedicated family reading area and technology stations, and a teen space.
The building will be developed by Omni West Group, Inc., which is also building two new library branches in French Valley and Menifee. The project will be delivered through a public-private partnership and operated through the Riverside County Library System.
- DHS Library Rendering: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
- Supervisor V. Manuel Perez: Supervisor V. Manuel Perez
- Desrt Hot Springs Library Construction hs-library: City Councilmember Russell Betts