San Juan Ridge Community Library to build annex |

San Juan Ridge Community Library to build annex

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What: San Juan Ridge Community Library

Where: 18841 Oak Tree Road, Nevada City

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

For info: Call 530-292-3008 or go online at

Roo Cantada spent years getting the San Juan Ridge Community Library off the ground and into a permanent home, celebrating a grand opening in 2014.

Six years later, Cantada is not resting on her laurels — she is deep into the building project for The Annex, a brand-new space next to the current library that will serve as a much needed multi-purpose area.

“I’m excited to have the extra space,” Cantada said. “We have no place for programs. So if we are doing after-school programs, they’re in the kitchen. Anything loud, we go outside, weather permitting. We needed more space.”

The library’s genesis dates back to 2003, when Cantada approached the Twin Ridges Elementary School District board with a proposal to expand Grizzly Hill’s K-8 library one day per week after school and during the summer. The Grizzly Hill School Community Library was run every Tuesday by Cantada and some dedicated volunteers for more than eight years, until the school district closed the program in 2011.

Cantada then approached the board of the Oak Tree Park and Recreation District to propose that the library become a district program in the old Twin Ridges District office, at 18841 Oak Tree Road. She then recruited several community members to form a new nonprofit organization.

The library currently is packed into a 1,600-square-foot old modular building housing more than 12,000 items, including audio books, DVDs, large print, local history and more. Its internet has been upgraded and there are three public computers and a wireless printer.

There was an old modular adjacent to the space in a serious state of disrepair, with water damage and mold, Cantada said.

She initially researched the idea of replacing the structure with a new modular, but got a quote from her contractor for a stick-built structure for about the same cost.

“We opted to put up a real building, with insulation,” Cantada said. “It will have a foundation, with a sloped roof, and many more windows. It will be used for programs and for additional internet space. We could have movie nights, poetry readings, community meetings, pretty much anything. It will be about 400 square feet — it will be perfect.”

Cantada said it has been a nearly two-year process for shepherding what will be called The Annex to fruition. She needed approval from both the library board and the park district board, then went to Friends of the Nevada County Libraries with a proposal and cost estimates.

From there, Cantada said, the permit process got underway with the county Building Department.

“That’s where we are now, waiting for (the) permit approval,” she said. “Then we will pour foundation and it will go up really quick. I’m hopeful we will have it open for use by next spring or summer.”

The new annex got most of its funding from Friends of the Nevada County Libraries and the park district generously contributed to cover the permit, architect and engineer fees, Cantada said.

“It has been really wonderful,” she said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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