Hunt Library receives $ 2.75 million federal funding

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Matthew Leslie

The Hunt Library has received $ 2.75 million in funding under the 2021/2022 budget just signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. This new round of funding will contribute to a $ 2.5 million grant to the State Library that MP Sharon Quirk-Silva received last year. In a press release from Quirk-Silva’s office, the new funding was cited as the result of a “joint inquiry” with State Senator Josh Newman, whose own press release said the additional funding “will complete the Hunt Library revitalization project to bring the library back to culture Serving landmarks for the community. “

With the new funds, not only the conversion and renovation costs of the almost 60-year-old building will be completed, but according to the Quirk-Silva office, “start-up financing for the cultural and library operations will be covered” with 250,000 US dollars. Although the Hunt will not reopen as a branch of the City Library, some sort of library function will be required to meet the scope of State Library funding.

Opened in 1962, The Hunt Library served as the second branch of the Fullerton Public Library for over 50 years before being completely withdrawn by the city council and closed in 2013. The facility was leased to neighboring Grace Ministries International for several years before being removed from the city’s surplus property list at the urging of the Save The Hunt community group, which successfully campaigned for the historic William Pereira-designed building and the surrounding area will be preserved as a public facility. Local conservation group Fullerton Heritage secured its status as both a local landmark and a location on the National Register of Historic Places.

The council eventually approved the formation of an ad hoc library committee to recommend arts and literature programs for hunting.

The new funding comes at the request of Arts OC, which, in collaboration with Heritage Future, has been selected by the city as a “program partner” for the hunt, although a formal contract with the groups has yet to be signed. Richard Stein, CEO of ArtsOC, said his organization had requested $ 2.75 million for the Hunt Library Revitalization Project, including $ 250,000 specifically for start-up programs, but Stein warned that the funds would go to the City of Fullerton will be awarded, which will ultimately decide how the money will be spent. In March, the city commissioned Thirtieth Street Architects with revitalization plans that are expected to include a new roof as well as other repairs related to utility facilities. At least some of the building’s distinctive floor-to-ceiling windows will need to be replaced. The bathrooms of the modern building from the middle of the century must also be made barrier-free.

The new funds will also be used for work on the site and in the parking lot. The Park & ​​Recreation Dept. The city recently announced plans to move the popular dog park, which has been on the Hunt property since 2011, to Brea Dam Park. “The group’s fundraising plan includes weddings and other special event rentals, a strategy by the Muckenthaler Cultural Center and the Fullerton Arboretum, which often hold such events outdoors.

Programming recommendations will be included in a report that ArtsOC and Heritage Future are expected to submit to the city in late July, but Stein alluded to an event already planned for the hunt. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts was awarded to extend an existing Dia del Niño festival to the hunting grounds for one day. The report is based on months of community input in the form of stakeholder interviews, an online survey, and vision sessions in the closed library to determine Hunt’s programs. “We see our upcoming report as the basis for such an agreement and look forward to talks with the city,” said Stein.

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