News

Atherton welcomes the community to its new library

It's open seven days a week in the new civic center at 80 Fair Oaks Lane

Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District reads to children during the grand opening celebration of the Atherton Library on June 4, 2022. Courtesy San Mateo County Libraries.

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia counted down from 10 before kids ran through a red "Welcome" banner held in front of the doors of the new $19.1 million Atherton Library to mark its opening on June 4.

The day included live music, food, a book signing and tours of the 10,000-square-foot library at 80 Fair Oaks Lane. Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen led one of the story times.

"It was wonderful to observe kids picking up books and reading at tables and in nooks, several people using the laser printer and the four sewing machines in the makerspace and people enjoying the Willie Mays Room," named after the longtime Atherton resident and San Francisco Giants player, said DeGolia in an email. "People didn't just walk through and look, they actually stopped and used the library, which was wonderful."

Construction on the library began over three years ago. The makerspace and digital lab have 3D printers, a laser cutter, GoPro camera kits and a deck, according to the town. There meeting rooms, including in the renovated Historic Town Hall, which is connected to the library.

French bakery Mademoiselle Colette plans to open a cafe in a 250-square-foot space in the library this fall.

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The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday.

Go here for a list of upcoming events at the new library.

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Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

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Atherton welcomes the community to its new library

It's open seven days a week in the new civic center at 80 Fair Oaks Lane

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 16, 2022, 11:05 am

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia counted down from 10 before kids ran through a red "Welcome" banner held in front of the doors of the new $19.1 million Atherton Library to mark its opening on June 4.

The day included live music, food, a book signing and tours of the 10,000-square-foot library at 80 Fair Oaks Lane. Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen led one of the story times.

"It was wonderful to observe kids picking up books and reading at tables and in nooks, several people using the laser printer and the four sewing machines in the makerspace and people enjoying the Willie Mays Room," named after the longtime Atherton resident and San Francisco Giants player, said DeGolia in an email. "People didn't just walk through and look, they actually stopped and used the library, which was wonderful."

Construction on the library began over three years ago. The makerspace and digital lab have 3D printers, a laser cutter, GoPro camera kits and a deck, according to the town. There meeting rooms, including in the renovated Historic Town Hall, which is connected to the library.

French bakery Mademoiselle Colette plans to open a cafe in a 250-square-foot space in the library this fall.

The library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday.

Go here for a list of upcoming events at the new library.

Comments

CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Jun 16, 2022 at 8:57 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Jun 16, 2022 at 8:57 pm


“$19 million for 10,000 sq. ft.? If those #'s are correct, the cost was ~ $1,900/sq.ft. And, it doesn't have a gourmet kitchen with Wolf equipment and 5+ bathrooms & an entertainment center, a wine cellar & a pool/spa!

Am I doing the math wrong or missing something or did Atherton "over spec & overpay"? Or is Atherton’s “Building Code” just too “tight”?


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 17, 2022 at 7:19 am
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2022 at 7:19 am

Cybervoter:

the problem is twofold. One, it is a commercial building and subject to more stringent codes than single family residential construction. Two, it is a public building built with public funds which means it has to be done at "prevailing wage". Prevailing wage is based on what the local union trades get per hour PLUS their health care, pension, etc. Labor that non-union builders pay $35/hr would have to be paid more than double that. This is the law in California brought to you by our labor union bought and paid for legislature. It artificially inflates the cost of constructing anything that is built with public funds.

For example non-union carpenters must be paid $86.63/hr. Here is a link to prevailing wage rates: Web Link So work you could have done for half that MUST be done at TWICE what could be paid in the open market.


CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Jun 17, 2022 at 1:01 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2022 at 1:01 pm

Menlo Voter:

Very good points! However, these costs can still not explain $1,910/square foot! Again, the land was free, no exotic kitchens, multiple bathrooms, pool/spa, etc.! Assume that the cost per sq. ft. is "bloated" to ~ $750/sq.ft, that is still 2.5X the expected cost?

There must be something we don't know - & aren't being told.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on Jun 17, 2022 at 5:28 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on Jun 17, 2022 at 5:28 pm

Cybervoter:

Commercial buildings are expensive to build. Also, the cost of materials has been skyrocketing over the course of the construction of this building. For example, I am currently building a 10,000 sf house. The framing lumber was priced in September, when April rolled around and we started framing the lumber package had gone up $100,000. Steel, which there is a lot of in this building made a huge jump in price between 2019 and 2020, then continued up from there. The initial jump doubled the cost of steel. And it has continued to escalate from there. And cost increases have affected materials across the board.

Also, I'm sure this project had the usual change orders both for changes made and for things missing from the plans. Because it was competitively bid, bidders will only bid what's in the plans even if they know there is missing information. If they put it in their bid and other bidders don't, they won't get the job.


CyberVoter
Registered user
Atherton: other
on Jun 18, 2022 at 7:46 pm
CyberVoter, Atherton: other
Registered user
on Jun 18, 2022 at 7:46 pm

Menlo Voter:

Agreed, but the Library was bid & contracted several years ago!


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