Porterville library

Image via Porterville library Facebook page

published on September 14, 2022 - 1:28 PM
Written by Ben Hensley

The City of Porterville announced this week it has been selected to receive a California State Library grant for $7.26 million towards the construction of a new library.

The highly competitive library grant was awarded to the City of Porterville after a selection process carried out by the California State Library in its Building Forward Library Infrastructure Grant Program.

The grant addresses safety and critical maintenance needs of library buildings, and places specific focus on libraries in underserved communities in the state.

The funding will also go directly towards the construction of the new library, which will replace the prior building after it was destroyed in an arson fire in February 2020, an incident that claimed the lives of Fire Captain Ramon “Ray” Figueroa and Firefighter Patrick Jones.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2023 or early 2024, with the new building on Olive Avenue across the street from the South County Justice Center that will form part of the Sante Fe Byway activity area.

The planned facility will include 40,000 square feet of space at an estimated cost of $30 million.

A temporary library, located at 50 W. Olive Avenue, has replaced the prior building, but the need for a larger library is still necessary.

The remaining funds necessary to complete the project will come from a variety of sources, including loss insurance, the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds as well as private donations.

The city will also continue to seek other federal and state funding sources.

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