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Santa Monica Fairview Branch Library to Re-Open June 1
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

 

By Lookout Staff

May 17, 2016 -- Exactly a year after closing for more than $900,000 in interior renovations, Santa Monica’s six decades-old Fairview Branch Library is set to re-open on June 1, officials announced.

Fairview now includes new carpeting and paint throughout, an upgraded electrical system, new central air conditioning, improved interior lighting and new shelving for books and media collections.

Also featured: A new configuration for the computers, more book displays, a more efficient service desk, more self-checkout stations and easier access to the restrooms for the disabled, off the community room.

In addition, the kitchen, office and staff areas have been reconfigured to provide separate public and staff kitchenettes, two staff offices, a staff break room and an upgraded but reduced-sized reception area, according to staff.

Before it closed for remodeling, Fairview was consistently one of the City library system’s most visited branches. In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Fairview counted 156,854 visitors, which made it the most used of the branches.

Last July, the City Council awarded JR Universal Construction, Inc. the contract to remodel the facility for a cost not to exceed $907,975, with the branch already having closed its doors in preparation.

Fairview’s renovations complete the Santa Monica Public Library Branch Improvement Project, funded by the City. The project began with the Ocean Park Branch in 2011 and continued with the Montana Branch the following year.

Fairview is the library system’s second-oldest branch. It made its debut in 1931 as a 15-foot-wide store front operation on 20th Street, sandwiched between a grocery store and barber shop. As demand grew, Fairview found a new location, at 2030 Pico Boulevard, in 1942.

Nudged by the post-WWII population boom in Santa Monica, Fairview moved again in 1956, this time to its current location at 2101 Ocean Park Boulevard.

A federal grant cleared the way for its expansion in 1978, adding a community room and an alcove for periodicals and more staff office space. More improvements were made in 2002.

Santa Monica’s public library system is comprised of the Main Library, which dates back in various forms to 1890, and four neighborhood branches. Of the current facilities, the oldest is the Ocean Park branch, followed by Fairview about 13 years later.

The Montana Avenue branch library opened in 1952. The Pico branch opened in 2014.


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