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Yorba Linda is Ready to Build a New Library & Arts Center

September 24, 2018 By Heather McRea, Orange County Register

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Yorba Linda has finalized the design of the long-awaited new library and arts center and is now seeking a construction company to build the facility by May 2020.

The city will accept bids to do the work from six pre-qualified companies and should have a contract awarded in November.

Residents can expect to see activity start at the 4.7-acre site off Lakeview Avenue – known as the “strawberry fields” – by December or January, said E. Maximous, the city’s director of public works and city engineer.

Construction is expected to cost up to $44 million; with additional expenses such as design, management, moving the library and furniture, the project is expected to total about $53 million

Once the complex is completed, the library will move from its cramped building off Imperial Highway to the new 45,000-square-foot facility that will feature large community rooms that can be divided up as needed; a makers space; quiet reading rooms and group study rooms; an expanded storytime area; places for teens; and more.

A paseo that can be used for outdoor events will connect the library to the 13,500-square-foot arts center. The library and arts center will share parking.

The City Council approved on Tuesday, Sept. 18, naming the facility the Yorba Linda Cultural Arts Center. It’s black-box theater will be named the Virginia DeLand Theater, the council also decided.

DeLand, now deceased, was the founder of the Yorba Linda Civic Light Opera. The longtime resident produced more than 50 shows in her 16 years leading the community theater company, her family said, including summer productions for area youth.

Councilman Tom Lindsey was one of those participating thespians and volunteered to help with the group’s financials. He said he understood the magnitude of naming a facility after someone and DeLand’s contributions to the community rose to the occasion.

DeLand worked tirelessly to bring quality entertainment to the city that was child friendly, often supporting it with her own money, he said.

Along with the theater, the arts center will feature dance and art studios.

Planning for a new library started in 2010, but was stalled when potential funding sources and property were tied up by the dissolution statewide of redevelopment agencies. Efforts started anew in 2014, with the location chosen in 2016 and the commitment made to also build the arts center.

“I’m ready to build this thing,” Councilwoman Peggy Huang said lightly as the council discussed awarding the construction contract. “Come on, let’s go.”

 

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