Auburn Library Upgrade

Supervisors approve $4.9 million grant, matching funds for Auburn Library retrofit project

Auburn, Calif. – The Auburn Library is a step closer to being upgraded with $9.8 million in improvements including: new heating and air conditioning units, public restroom renovations and the installation of an elevator among electrical and safety feature upgrades.

Recently, the Board of Supervisors took action to accept a $4.9 million Building Forward Library Infrastructure Grant, which also required the approval of matching funds to reach the $9.8 million cost.

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The board voted 3-2 in favor of authorizing matching funds of $4.9 million with the stipulation that up to $1 million of the county’s match be paid by the library’s reserve fund.

Budget Act of 2021

The Building Forward Library Infrastructure Grant program was created out of the Budget Act of 2021, which allocated $439 million in one-time funds to California libraries to address life-safety, critical maintenance and infrastructure needs of aging facilities.

The Auburn Library is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of being part of the Placer County Library system this year.

“The Auburn Library building has served the County well for the past 50 years. This reinvestment in the facility ensures that we will continue to provide quality library service for the next generation of Placer County Library customers.”

Sophie Bruno, Assistant Director of Library Services

Placer County was eligible to apply for Building Forward Library funding for the Auburn and Kings Beach libraries and was awarded $4.9 million for Auburn. In a separate action, the Board of Supervisors authorized staff to apply for Kings Beach funding.

Upgrades to the Auburn Library will include:

  • Electrical power and distribution center
  • Life safety fire sprinkler system
  • Telecommunications system
  • Heating ventilation air conditioning distribution system
  • Equipment room HVAC units
  • Accessible public restrooms
  • Elevator
  • Staff/delivery access
  • Ceiling, lighting and control systems

With the grant acceptance and funding approval, Placer County Facilities Management will come back to the Board of Supervisors to request approval for a consultant services agreement, approval of plans and specifications and authorization to bid out and award a construction contract for the work to be performed.

History of Auburn Library

In 1907, a $10,000 grant was approved courtesy of the Andrew Carnegie Corporation and a permanent library building was constructed the following year at 175 Almond Street. The new Auburn City Library was dedicated on May 26, 1909.

The new Auburn City Library was dedicated on May 26, 1909. In 1937, free library service for those who lived outside the city limits came to fruition when the Placer County Library was added to the lower floor of the City Library Building. By 1958, the county library outgrew the space and relocated to the Shepard Square Building. 

By 1967, the city and county libraries were merged, and the city library joined the county library in the same building. The combined libraries were temporarily housed in Palm Center and then in a building on the former DeWitt Hospital grounds. Finally on August 10, 1971, ground was broken for a new building on 350 Nevada Street, its present location.

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