Turner Tapped to Build New $153M Mixed-Use Public Library in San Diego

The City of San Diego has made its choice.

September 16, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The City of San Diego has made its choice. Officials finalized an agreement for Turner Construction Company to spearhead the building of its New Central Library. A mixed-use development, the unique public library will cost $153 million to complete.

Carrying the address of 330 Park Boulevard in Downtown’s East Village neighborhood, the Central Library will be within close proximity of public transportation, including bus and trolley stops, and easily accessible via freeway. Rob Wellington Quigley and Tucker Sadler Architects Inc. are behind the design of the 295,000-square-foot building, which will be nearly twice the size of the current 144,500-square-foot facility, and encompass far more than just space for books and reading desks.

Two floors of the nine-story LEED Silver-certified structure will become home to a 76,000-square-foot charter school to accommodate 400 students. Also, in addition to a three-story reading room and a 10,200 square-foot dedicated children’s, library, the property will include a 350-seat auditorium; a 400-seat multi-purpose room; a technology center; a teen center; two levels of underground parking; and an outdoor plaza café.

To finance the development of the library, the City of San Diego is relying on funds from the California State Library, the San Diego-based non-profit Centre City Development Corporation, as well as over $60 million in private donations.

San Diego is just one of a bevy of cities across the country that are moving forward with the development of new libraries. Recently, Hensel Phelps Construction Company won the contract for the 250,000-square-foot City of Austin New Central Library project in Texas, and the City of St. Louis, Missouri, closed on the sale of $65 million in bonds for the $74 million construction of an expanded 190,000-square-foot central library. In fiscal 2009, 80 new public libraries were built in the U.S., according to the American Library Association.