Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone and members of Friends of Idyllwild Library got a peek at the interior of the new Idyllwild Library in Strawberry Plaza at a walkthrough on Friday, April 27.
Economic Development Agency Library Project Manager Natalia Brown and contractor Grant Hamel walked attendees through the construction interior. Brown displayed and explained book catalogues of furniture, shelving, finishes and materials to be used in completing the interior.
Hamel explained room locations and interior and exterior features. “If it’s bolted down it’s mine [to finish],” said Hamel in explaining completion timelines.
Brown said construction is on schedule and the county expects to receive the building from Hamel Contracting in the first week of August. That will give EDA and the Friends about a month to outfit the interior with stacks, books and furniture.
“We should be able to have a ‘soft opening’ on Labor Day [the date Stone had targeted] and a formal opening mid-September,” Brown said.
Features of interest include beanbag chairs in the children’s areas, Wi-Fi throughout and lounge chairs in front of Stone’s favorite appurtenance, the fireplace. Although current county code prohibits a wood-burning fireplace, there will be a faux fireplace to add mountain ambiance to the facility. “I had this vision of sitting by that fireplace, reading a book with snow falling outside,” Stone said.
Hamel explained, in answer to questions about the community room, that it and adjacent bathrooms were designed and built so that they could be open even after regular library hours. That would facilitate use of the room and bathrooms by community groups for meetings and events.
Brown explained that a county employee would still have to be present during times of use by community groups, in keeping with similar provisions at other county facilities, “But use by non-profits would be free,” Brown said.
The community room is to be equipped either with a screen that comes down from the ceiling or a large projection television, according to current plans.