LIBRARY REPAIR UPDATE
County library officials say the renovated facility is expected to reopen in Spring 2019, following the devastating fire on February 27. Though the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District believes the fire was intentionally started, George Laing, fire prevention captain and investigator, said law enforcement has not identified or found a suspect. “Based on what happened, we know it was an intentional act,” Laing said.
Residents of El Sobrante are distraught over this news. The people in the community need the library, and miss their summer programs, especially the summer lunch program.
The renovation process is extensive, because electrical systems, ceilings, and walls need to be replaced, and engineers cannot assess wall interiors for damage until the restoration company is done removing asbestos from the ceilings. It is an exacting process due to the age of the facility and changes in building materials and codes since the last library project in 1974. The building is still in an early stage of the restoration process, and the county is working with its insurance company to determine the damage cost, which is not yet known.
It is expected that the County will have a “comprehensive building plan” completed by mid-July, and a “completely renovated and beautiful library open to the public” by next spring. El Sobrante residents wishing to use a public library are encouraged to visit the Pinole and San Pablo libraries.