New library opening anticipated by late June
After a brief work stoppage, construction is back on track and nearing completion on the Hayward new main library—with the building anticipated to open to the public for regular operations before summer.
Once finished, the new 21st Century Library and Community Learning Center at 888 C Street will be one of the largest net-zero energy public buildings in the country, and offer users an expansive collection of reading, audio and visual materials, dozens of new computers, a new digital media lab and a new makerspace featuring 3D printers and robotics, and a homework support center for students.
The three-story, 58,000-square foot building will set a new standard in environmental sustainability. In addition to being 100-percent energy self-sufficient and carbon-free, it will conserve drinking water by capturing, filtering and storing rainwater for non-potable uses such as flushing toilets and irrigation. Its interior of clean, contemporary lines and open floor plans are adorned with creations of local and Bay Area artists, and contain multiple community meeting rooms and a café, promising to become a new cultural, educational and civic hub in the heart of downtown.
The announcement of a new timeline follows the resumption of construction activity by the project general contractor, T.B. Penick & Sons, Inc., which suspended work on Friday, March 15, amid a pay dispute with some of its sub-contractors. Left still to be done are final wiring connections and fire and life-safety inspections—estimated to take approximately five weeks. Once complete and approved, a temporary occupancy permit will be issued so library staff can move in, plug in, test and learn new equipment and systems, and prepare to finally open the doors to the public.
In the meantime, the Weekes branch is open for service, and traditional and newer library services are being provided in the downtown area:
- Weekly children’s programs at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 22737 Main Street. The Rhythm and Rhyme program starts at 10 a.m. every Thursday morning, followed by a Bilingual Storytime in English and Spanish from 11 a.m.
- A weekly English Conversational Circle meets every Friday, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 2A at City Hall and provides the opportunity for local residents to practice English speaking skills. This is a drop-in program. All are welcome.
- On Saturdays, there will be a pop-up library regularly at the downtown Farmers Market until the new library opens. Members of the public can get library cards, check-out books, and find out about library services. Story-times will be offered depending on the weather.
- Special programs also are being offered at various locations. For example, the library is now hosting a new crafters’ group called “Sticks and String.” The next meeting of the group will be 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, at City Hall room 1C. Youth and adults ages 12 and above are welcome. For more information, contact Michelle Nogales, email@example.com.
For information on these and other library services and programs, check out the online calendar at http://hayward.evanced.info/signup/Calendar.