The Pico Branch Library project moved one step closer to reality on Wednesday following a public groundbreaking ceremony near the construction site in Virginia Avenue Park.
Mayor Richard Bloom joined representatives from the Pico Neighborhood Association and the Virginia Avenue Park Advisory Board at the 1 p.m. ceremony.
This project is the result of many years of planning and collaboration between community members, City staff, the Pico Branch Project Team, and other local stakeholders, sparked by interest in having a branch library in the Pico neighborhood.
The one-story library will be oriented towards Pico Boulevard and consist of a dynamic, two-building design. It was designed by award-winning Santa Monica firm of Koning Eizenberg Architecture.
The main 7,872 square-foot facility will have children’s, teen and adult collections; popular materials; a children’s area; reading areas; group study rooms; and public computers.
Across the fire lane, a separate 818 square-foot community room will be used for story times, educational and cultural programs and will be available for rental by the public.
The neighboring structures will be connected at the roofline with a trellis, creating a lively pedestrian breezeway.
The first park in the country to receive a LEED silver rating, the Pico Branch Library and surrounding landscape will have many sustainable features and the project is seeking a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Virginia Avenue Park is located at 2201 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.