Mark your calendar for June 12: That’s the day the beautiful new Capitola branch library will open — virtually.
The $13 million project with 11,700 square foot of space is nearly ready for patrons of all ages, young and young-at-heart.
The virtual grand opening will be 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 12.
The Capitola Branch Library is part of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, which is hosting the festivities, which feature a video tour, a ribbon cutting, and speakers, including:
- Capitola Mayor Yvette Brooks
- Capitola City Manager Jamie Goldstein
- Project Manager David Tanza
- Noll and Tam Architects
- Carl Barrett, president, Otto Construction
- Library Director Susan Nemitz
- Gayle Ortiz, co-chair of capital campaign
To attend the virtual ceremony, register at: bit.ly/CapitolaGrandOpening
Afterward, tours of the library at 2005 Wharf Road will be available to small groups by appointment between 1 and 5 p.m. at 10-minute intervals. The online signup sheet is at bit.ly/TourCapitola. For those without internet access, call 831-427-7713 and library staff will schedule your appointment. These tours will offer a short visit, so no library services will be available that day.
Tours will continue for two weeks after the branch opens for Active Browsing service on Tuesday, June 15
The Capitola Branch is the fourth library in the system to complete construction from the 2016 Measure S funds.
The City of Capitola contributed significant funds to the project, which expanded the library footprint from 4,300 to 11,700 square feet.
This modern new library features: a dedicated children’s room, a dedicated teen room, study rooms, community rooms, more public computers, a fireplace, comfortable reading nooks, desks with outlets for devices and laptops, and a plenty of natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows along most of the walls.
The capital campaign, led by former mayor Gayle Ortiz, raised more than $750,000 for enhancements such as the fireplace, meeting rooms, upgraded furniture, and more. The Friends of the Capitola Branch Library are raising additional money for rooftop solar panels through sales at the Capitola Friends Bookstore in the Capitola Mall.
The Capitola Library began in the 1930s, located in the Post Office. The library changed location a few times, then moved in 1953 to 411 Capitola Ave. The building was expanded in 1963. The branch closed in 1985 due to budget cuts, and did not open again until 1999 when a temporary portable building was installed on Wharf Road.
This location, across from the Rispin Mansion, was so popular it was clear a larger facility was needed. Portable buildings do not last forever and eventually must be replaced.
In 2016 voters approved Measure S sales tax to renovate all 10 library branches, and groundbreaking for Capitola’s new modern library began Nov. 9, 2018.
A virtual tour is on Youtube: youtu.be/5Jx-gCBo-9E
Summer hours at the Capitola Branch until July 10 will be:
- Tuesday & Thursday: 1- 6 p.m.
- Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Friday & Saturday: Noon – 5 p.m.
After July 10, summer hours will be:
- Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Friday through Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.
Hours for the Friends bookstore are:
- Mondays: 1-4 p.m.
- Wednesdays: Noon-6 p.m.
- Fridays: 12:30-4 p.m
- Saturdays: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Sundays: 1-4 p.m.
For information see capitolalibraryfriends.org/
Gayle Ortiz, former Capitola mayor, snapped her photos when she got a tour and shared them with our readers.