Grass Valley OK’s library expansion |

Grass Valley OK’s library expansion

The expansion of the Grass Valley Library on Mill Street won preliminary approval Tuesday from the Grass Valley Planning Commission.

The 86-year-old library could more than double in size, from 6,044-square-feet to 12,893-square-feet, the preliminary plans show.

Tuesday’s approval will allow Nevada County officials to apply for a $1.9 million state grant, library representatives said. If the grant application is successful, the county could receive the money by next summer, they added.

The project, estimated at $3.3 million, could also be funded in part by $100,000 raised by Friends of the Library, a volunteer group. The project could also be funded with a second $500,000 state grant, and money from the county, which operates the library.

The Planning Commission will have to review the final plans before construction can begin, possibly in 2004. The library has been on the National Register of Historic Places and the plans will have to be approved by the state Office of Historic Preservation, said Allen Taylor, the Auburn architect in charge of the project.

County officials first applied for the $1.9 million earlier this year, but the state considered the application incomplete.

The expansion, if built, will create enough space for a community room, a young adult/teen area, and a larger children’s corner, Judy Mariuz, the branch librarian, said Wednesday. There will also be more space to expand the library’s collection, she added.

A wheelchair-accessible ramp was added in 1982. Otherwise, there have not been any major renovations since the library was constructed with a $15,000 Carnegie grant in 1916, when the city population was 4,000, she said. Grass Valley now has 12,000 people, according to the state Department of Finance.

The collection currently has 50,000 volumes, Mariuz said. A library serving the Grass Valley population should have at least 75,000 volumes, she added.

The Nevada County Library Literacy Service, now in the Lutz Center, could also move to the library.

The program offers math, reading and writing tutoring to approximately 70 adults. Moving the library would provide better access to materials, and allow the program to grow, said Jackie Clary, the program coordinator.

Facts about

the library

? Built in 1916 with a $15,000 Carnegie grant

? Open 52 hours a week

? Collection: approximately 50,000 volumes

? Circulation: 7,500 to 8,000 volumes per week

? Built on the birthplace of noted philosopher and author Josiah Royce. Royce, who was born in 1855, taught philosophy at Harvard University from 1882 to 1916.

Source: Nevada County.

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