BRENTWOOD — The Brentwood Library Foundation and the Friends of the Brentwood Library have joined forces for the $100 for 100 Years campaign to raise money to support building a new community library.
The first 100 donors who contribute $100 will have their name or a loved one’s name engraved on a Perpetual Plaque that will be displayed in the city’s current library, said Bryan Scott, vice president for the Brentwood Library Foundation. The plaques will be relocated to the new library after it’s constructed.
The goal is to obtain at least 100 donations by January, which is when community members will celebrate 100 years since the opening of the Brentwood Library, Scott said. The city’s first library had 320 square feet of space and sat at the corner of Third and Oak streets, where the Civic Center stands today.
“This money is really seed money to begin to work on the long-term strategy of getting the library built,” he said.
The Brentwood Library Foundation was created earlier this year to raise money for the new library in downtown Brentwood at the site of the current library at 104 Oak St. The organization focuses on fundraising with the help of the city and Friends of the Brentwood Library.
The fundraising efforts have been an “interesting project” because Scott hasn’t heard of any disapproval from the community, he said.
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of support from the community because Brentwood has grown so much in the last 10 to 15 years,” Scott said.
The city population has grown from 23,202 in 2000 to 59,700 in 2010, according to the Brentwood Library Needs Assessment report. It is projected that Brentwood will grow to 67,500 residents by 2015.
The report notes that city libraries in the Contra Costa County Library average .491 square feet per resident. Brentwood’s current library takes up one-fourth of this space at 0.122 square feet per resident.
Scott said that foundation members expressed at meetings that they envision the new library opening by January 2018, which is “awfully ambitious.” He noted that providing a specific timeline has proved to be difficult because “there’s a lot of uncertainty at this point because there is no funding plan” currently.
A budget plan should be completed by next week, after exploring some funding options, said Gail Leech, management analyst for the city of Brentwood. The city does not expect to receive any funding from the county, but will review the capital improvement budget to see if there is any wiggle room. Other options include developing partnerships with public or private investors and considering a bond measure.
“There’s a whole bunch of different ways to approach this, we’re just looking at what the best way would be,” Leech said.
The city originally set aside $2.3 million for the library project because it was initially going to be a remodel and expansion of the existing facility, she said. After doing additional research on the building in October 2013, the city determined that constructing a facility would make more sense than remodeling it. The library is projected to cost $10 million.
The $100 for 100 Years campaign will close with the “Wagon Wheels a-Rollin’” melodrama, fundraiser and celebration on Jan. 23, Scott said. The Vagabond Players, a senior theater group, will perform an old western drama at the event.
The Brentwood Library will host an array of events during January as a monthlong celebration of its 100th birthday, he said. A full list of events hasn’t been released at this time.
Contact Katrina Cameron at 925-779-7164. Follow her at Twitter.com/KatCameron91.
HOW TO DONATE
To obtain a donation form, email Bryan Scott at [email protected] or go to the Brentwood Library at 104 Oak St.