We’ll soon have more answers about the upgrade options for Santa Cruz’s downtown library—possibly more information than we ever really needed.
As of last year, the plan was to build a brand new library combined with parking and affordable housing. Evidence showed that the alternative, a remodel, would have given library users far less bang for the city’s buck. However, city leaders opted to ask around. That’s why a council committee had consultant Abe Jayson present on how much of a remodel the town could get for $27 million. The plan isn’t perfect, but his renderings showed big windows with lots of natural light. So pretty!
Of course, because Santa Cruz leaders are better at asking for more information than making decisions, they’re having Jayson go back to the drawing board to sketch out plans to build a brand new library from the ground up, also on a $27 million budget. In the meantime, Jayson will give a finalized presentation on a remodeled downtown library at the current downtown library Friday, Dec. 13 at 4pm.
Just as a reminder, it was nine months ago that the City Council closed the book on the library-planning process because of the parking concerns. And it was six weeks ago that Jayson said that construction costs have been going up 8-10% per year and that the “good news” was that those will drop to 5-6% a year. Delays are expensive. So while Capitola will soon have its very own beautiful new library with its cut of the funds, Santa Cruz is tripping over itself in fights over how to spend its stash, which is scheduled to expire in a few years. So much for “Time is money!”
This is why we can’t have nice things.
IT REALLY SINKS
Repairs to a sinkhole on Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz have closed the right-hand turn lane at the intersection of Soquel and Ocean streets. Work began on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and it may take another week for the city of Santa Cruz Public Works to finish the roadwork.
Sinkholes are essentially hollowed-out depressions in the earth. They develop when water erodes away a form of soluble bedrock, like limestone—a sedimentary rock common in Santa Cruz County’s underbelly. It’s best to deal with sinkholes before they grow out of control, although when they do widen and ultimately collapse, often without warning, they make for quite a story. Last week, a Southern California woman settled her suit with the Los Angeles City Council for $4 million dollars for driving into a sinkhole in 2017. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, a hand injury, and sight problems after her SUV fell 20 feet and landed on its roof into a flowing river of raw sewage.
Anyway, drive safe!
Update 12/13/2019 9:30am: A previous version of this story misreported the time of Jayson’s upcoming presentation and the content.