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What do you think of downtown San Diegos School-In Library Concept in the East Village?

By Chad in December 2008|Downtown San Diego Urban Lifestyle with 0 Comments


What do you think of downtown San Diegos School-In Library Concept in the East Village?

Its no secret that San Diego has been trying for more than a decade to replace its current antiquated downtown library on E Street between 8th and 9th Ave. Currently, the plan is to build a $185 million facility on 11th Ave between J and K St. with nine floors, a 350-seat public auditorium and 250 underground parking spaces.

From a residential perspective, the new Main Library would be situated in the East Village, east of the 327 residential condo community ICON completed in 2006 and south of Metrome, a mid-rise residential condo community completed in 2005. The new Main Library would be just one block east of Petco Park, two blocks south of the new Thomas Jefferon School of Law (currently under construction) and two blocks north of the new Pedestrian Street Bridge that 92101 Urban Living Broker/Owner Mike Ciampa previously blogged on which will connect the new Hilton, Convention Center and Embarcadero Bay park areas to the East Village. A rendering of the proposed Main Library is pictured here as well on the architectural firm website of Tucker Sadler.

The $185 million was initially proposed to come from three sources:

  • $80 million from downtown redevelopment funds
  • $20 million from a state grant
  • $85 million from private donations

In a November 23rd UT article Backers of new main library face deadline to keep grant, the library foundation reported that pledges of at least $30 million, including $1 million from the Hervey Family Foundation and $2 million from David Copley, chairman and CEO of The Copley Press Inc. and publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune. The group needs to raise $50 million before construction can begin, and $35 million over the next few years after that.

In a December 20th UT article State official favors school-in-library idea, State Librarian Susan Hildreth indicated she was in favor of what was described as a 300-child niche high school with separate entrance and elevator that might be a model statewide. The school would occupy two floors of the nine-story library project.

While the Main Library project is up against a Dec. 31 deadline to show progress for the state grant, the state librarian can grant the city a multi-year extension of this grant.

State Librarian Susan Hildreth called the school plan a super idea in concept but said she needs to consider whether a revised project would be viable given that the school’s involvement could increase construction costs because of stricter guidelines for education buildings.

The article also indicates that many downtown parents are questioning where downtown’s growing crop of young children will go. A recent survey was cited in this article which shows that half of the children living downtown are younger than six years of age. Downtown resident Fran Pillersdorf was quoted saying In many of the discussions I’ve been a part of, it’s really been clearly represented that we need K-to-eight downtown.

We’d like to hear from YOU! Send us your educated thoughts on this subject. Please hit the Comment link below and copy me on your thoughts by emailing me at We would be happy to post them! Note to all snipers with a quit hit or sarcastic comment in mind: PLEASE hold your fire and back away from the edge of your rooftop! Were looking for QUALITY community oriented thoughtfulness here ~ not personal agendas or witty jabs. Send us your best stuff ~ pro or con. We look forward to hearing from you! Pete Thistle, Realtor/Broker, 92101 Urban Living