Library still seeks temporary home
The Sonoma Valley Regional Library is looking for a temporary home starting later this summer, for about a year.
And while Mary Evelyn Arnold, first district library commissioner, said the situation isn't desperate yet, she might use that word if the library hasn't found a home by about June 1.
About 20 people are working on finding a temporary home for the library while it undergoes massive renovations. But it's not an easy task.
"There are a limited number of spaces that meet our criteria," Arnold said.
Among the criteria is a space of up to about 10,000 square feet, sufficient parking, data lines, load requirements for the floors, and it all has to be ADA accessible. And it would be nice if it were on or near a bus line.
"So far the places we've identified are Holder Ford and the rental center on Highway 12," Arnold said. "There just aren't a lot of large, empty commercial spaces available."
But the former Holder ford building is unavailable as Staples has signed a lease for the 14,0000-square-foot building.
If the library isn't successful in finding a large space, it could make do with a smaller space in the 3,000-to-5,000-square-foot range.
"We could manage with a smaller space," Arnold said. "But we'd have to offer fewer services."
Isaac Raboy, with North Bay Property Advisors, has been working with the library in its attempt to find a temporary home.
"I'm not sure there are a lot of options," Raboy said, especially given what the needs of the library are, such as parking and ADA restrooms.
The Rental Center on Sonoma Highway would be one option, he said, but Raboy wasn't sure it was wired for computers, although it's got plenty of parking, it's easy to get to and it's on one floor.
Raboy said there are a couple of other properties on the market - a 3,000-square-foot building on West Spain Street behind the Fitness Factory, and another at 865 W. Napa St. that has about 3,100 square feet, but it's not all open space.
"We'll see what we can work with," he added.
Even with a smaller space, Arnold said the library would have to offer children's services, data access - especially for staff - and an area to check books in and out. But the library's temporary home wouldn't have the stacks as it does now.
Some people have suggested using any of the empty warehouses on Eighth Street East, but there are drawbacks there as well since the library needs both heating and air conditioning for the books, along with the ADA accessible facilities.
"But there's no way to get to Eighth Street East by bus," Arnold said. "People have to be able to get to you."
Other people have suggested breaking the library into pieces and putting it in different places, but Arnold said that wouldn't work in terms of staffing.
"We need our staff in one place," she said.