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Branch Library Concept

Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center Feasibility Study

On Feb. 7, 2017, the City Council authorized staff to explore a partnership with the Sunnyvale School District for the joint development and operation of a Branch Library and Learning Center in the Lakewood community. The purpose of the Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center feasibility study is to determine whether the Sunnyvale School District has an interest in contributing financial and programmatic resources to the project and if so, under what terms and conditions. This information would be used to determine whether the City should proceed with a stand-alone project on City-owned property at Lakewood Park or a joint-use project located either at Lakewood Park or on school-owned property at Lakewood Elementary School.

Envisioned as a 17,000- to 23,000-square-foot joint-use facility, the Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center would house a branch library, recreational facilities and serve as a community hub for public meetings in north Sunnyvale. The Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center would seek to build on the successful joint-decision making and shared investment model that currently exists between the City of Sunnyvale and the Sunnyvale School District at Columbia Middle School. In this model, the City and School District share in the original investment toward construction, as well as ongoing operations, maintenance and utilities.

The feasibility study will examine: 1) programmatic and space needs of each party; 2) the value and benefit of each party's potential contribution; 3) the framework for governance of a joint-use facility; 4) the identification of mutually acceptable site options; 5) the development of conceptual project costs. If the study finds that a joint-use project is viable, this information will form the basis for a formal Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Sunnyvale School District for the construction and operation of a joint-use facility.

Subscribe to Library Facilities & Services Future Plans to stay informed with periodic project updates. 

Progress

Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center Community Table
April 2018 
Lakewood Elementary School, 750 Lakechime Drive

The Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center Community Table event brought together individuals interested in learning more about a proposed hub for library, education, recreation and community services in the Lakewood Village neighborhood. Participants provided input on site options and shared their aspirations for a 21st-century library and learning center. 

Results of Feasibility Study to be Considered by Parks and Recreation Commission, Board of Library Trustees and Council.
January 2018

On Jan. 17, 2018, staff presented preliminary findings from the feasibility study that indicated that a partnership between the Sunnyvale School District and the City of Sunnyvale is viable. At that meeting, a representative from the Fremont Union High School District expressed the District's interest in becoming a partner in the project, as well. The Parks and Recreation Commission and the Board of Library Trustees each approved a recommendation that the City Council authorize the City Manager to proceed with negotiating a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Sunnyvale School District and the Fremont Union High School District for the construction and operation of a joint-use Lake Branch Library and Learning Center to be located on Sunnyvale School District-owned property on the Lakewood Elementary School Site. This recommendation will be heard by the Sunnyvale City Council on March 6, 2018.

Council Authorizes Exploration of a Partnership with the Sunnyvale School District for the Joint Development and Operations of the Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center
February 2017

Seeking the best strategy for implementing the Lakewood Branch Library project, staff proposed a combination of projects that impact Lakewood Park, a redefinition of the facility from Library only to Library and Learning Center, and a reevaluation of the original assumptions in order to best respond to the community and meet its service needs. Staff proposed to explore the feasibility of partnering with the Sunnyvale School District for the joint development and operations of the new facility. Council authorized a feasibility study, to be paid jointly by the City and the School District, on Feb. 7, 2017.

Funding for the Branch Library Becomes Available
June 2016

After the Superior Court and Sixth Appellate District Court ruled in favor of the City, the sale of Raynor Activity Center closed escrow on June 2, 2016, which made the funds available to proceed with the branch library project.

Residents Appeal Judge's Ruling in Lawsuit Against City
September 2014

On Sept. 22, 2014, a group of Sunnyvale residents who lost a litigation suit challenging the City's sale of Raynor Activity Center filed an appeal following the judge's ruling in favor of the City. The group claimed that the City did not follow the proper environmental review required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Judge ruled that the plaintiff's lawsuit is barred because no one raised any CEQA objections to the approval of the Purchase and Sale and Joint Use Agreements at or before the public hearings where these agreements were approved.

City Staff Ready to Recommend Design Firm
August 2014

Firms interested in designing the branch library responded to the City's Request for Proposals sent out in May 2013, and staff is prepared to recommend a specific design firm to the City Council. A proposed contract for design services was not forwarded to Council, however, until after the close of escrow for the sale of the Raynor Activity Center, which was being challenged in court.

Residents File Lawsuit to Prevent Sale of Raynor Activity Center
January 2014

On Jan. 7, 2014, a group of Sunnyvale residents filed a lawsuit against the City challenging Council’s approval of the Purchase and Sale of the Center. The lawsuit claims that the City did not follow the proper environmental review required under CEQA.

Council Approves Sale of Raynor Activity Center
November 2013

On Nov. 19, 2013, City Council approved the sale of the Raynor Activity Center to Stratford School and directed that $11.5 million in proceeds from the sale be used for design, construction, and startup costs for a new branch library located at Lakewood Park. Under the terms of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, Stratford will process an application for a use permit to operate a school at the site. The sale of the Center will be completed after issuance of the use permit.

Council Selects Lakewood Park for new Library Site
May 2013

On May 8, 2013, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council pursue designs to locate the branch library at Lakewood Park, and on May 13 the Board of Library Trustees did the same. On May 21, 2013, Council identified a preferred location for the branch library at Lakewood Park.

Details

Major Project Phases:

  • Sale of Raynor Park Activity Center (completed June 2, 2016). This funding allows the project to move forward.
  • Conduct study to consider feasibility of partnering with the Sunnyvale School District to construct and operate a joint-use facility (approved February 2017)
  • Preliminary Feasibility Study findings presented to Council (March 2018)
  • Community engagement and outreach regarding preferred site options, operations and project costs (Spring 2018)
  • Award design contract (Summer 2018)
  • Create Conceptual Design
  • Develop Construction Documents
  • Pursue Construction

Estimated Opening Date:

To be determined.

Background

On July 31, 2012, City Council held a special joint session with the Board of Library Trustees to study "Future Library and Civic Center Facility Options."

On May 8, 2013, the Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council pursue designs to locate the branch library at Lakewood Park, and on May 13 the Board of Libraries did the same.

The Council directed staff to further explore the concept of a branch library at the Lakewood Park and School site in partnership with the Sunnyvale School District, with capital costs to be covered by the proceeds from the eventual sale of the Raynor Activity Center.

Council identified this site because:

  • The area is in the heart of a residential area in the North end of town, which is located the farthest from the Sunnyvale Public Library and has the most difficulty accessing library services. Residents in this area are the only Sunnyvale residents who must travel more than 2 miles to access library services. As a result, the Lakewood area has the lowest percentage of residents with Sunnyvale library cards of any neighborhood in town;
  • The site could accommodate a new branch library without any loss of park or open space;
  • The site provided an opportunity for the City to partner with the Sunnyvale School District on the project.

In June 2016, a lawsuit that had delayed the sale of Raynor Activity Center was resolved and funding became available for the branch library. In July, 2016, staff provided an informational memo to Council (RTC No. 16-0605) with an update on the branch library project with a recommendation to defer the Fair Oaks Park Project in order to prioritize and align multiple projects scheduled for Lakewood Park. In doing so, the scope of the project was also redefined to become the Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center that would serve as a primary resource for literacy, learning and wellness activities for the residents of north Sunnyvale.

In late 2016, city staff became aware that the Sunnyvale School District might have a renewed interest in a possible joint use facility at Lakewood. As a result, in February 2017, a report was brought to Council (RTC No. 17-0072) with a recommendation that a feasibility study be conducted to identify the areas of mutual interest and the terms and conditions that would make a joint-use facility viable in the Lakewood community. 

Last Updated: Feb 22, 2019
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