Palo Alto's tortuous path toward rebuilding its largest library hit a significant milestone last week when the new Mitchell Park Library and Community Center received its official certificate of occupancy, the last step in the permitting process for the beleaguered project.
More than two years behind schedule, the library project has been a source of much disagreement and acrimony between city officials and the main contractor, Flintco Pacific. The city fired Flintco in January and hired Big D Pacific Builders to finish the job.
Now, it looks like the job is almost complete. Staff has already begun moving into the new facility and the city last month hosted public tours of the new two-building complex on Middlefield Road. The official grand opening celebration is scheduled for Dec. 6.
The re-opening of the Mitchell Park library is scheduled to be followed a month later by the re-opening of the city's second largest branch: the Rinconada Library. Long known as the Main Library, the renovated Newell Road building is set to open in January after being closed since summer 2013. It will include a new program room, study rooms and a teen center, along with upgraded electrical and mechanical systems, according to the city's announcement.
The new Mitchell Park library, meanwhile, includes a large children's room, teen room, computer training room, 100-person program room and quiet reading areas. The adjoining community center includes an event room with a kitchen that can accommodate 300 guests, as well as classrooms, game room, basketball half-court and public cafe
More information about the Mitchell Park Library's grand opening is available on the City of Palo Alto website.