August 5, 2023: “We Bought the Lot” Celebration
Were you there? More than 300 library patrons, neighbors, and Friends of the San Carlos Branch Library, turned out on August 5, 2023, to hear the good news: after 28 years, We Bought the Lot on the corner of Jackson and Golfcrest. This parcel is adjacent to the current branch library; the two lots together will become the site of the of the new 25,000 sq. ft. San Carlos Branch Library.
The day’s celebration was kicked off by District 7 Councilperson Raul Campillo who explained the history of the lot. Before 1995, the site was an Arco gas station. On this very site on July 20, 1995, following years of extensive efforts by then SCFOL President Jack Winer and Stanley F. Zubel to purchase the lot for the branch’s expansion, Councilperson Judy McCarty, handed five dollars and a bouquet of red roses to Art Goldstein, Manager of AM-PM Franchise for Arco Products Company. In return, Arco leased the lot to the City of San Diego with an option to buy it for $150,000. The only caveat was that the purchase could not occur until the lot’s corrective action clean-up was complete, and clearance was given by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. The “No Further Action Needed” was granted by the Water Board 27 years later on March 25, 2022, and the lot’s purchase deed was recorded on June 28, 2023 for the agreed upon price of $150,000.
Mayor Todd Gloria also spoke and assured the San Carlos Community that he would continue to work toward seeing that the new San Carlos Branch Library becomes a reality, and confirmed that San Diego officials are working to piece together the needed funds. Congresswoman Sara Jacobs discussed a Funding Bill before Congress that will hopefully add dollars to the project. SDPL Director Misty Jones was ecstatic that this major hurdle to build the new SCBL had been overcome, and Patrick Stewart, CEO of Library Foundation-San Diego summed up the work ahead to find the financing required to complete the project. Mayor Gloria returned to the speakers’ table and signed the San Diego City Council Proclamation: San Carlos Library: “We Bought the Lot Day.”
Up in the library, separate from these festivities, SCFOL volunteers held our SCFOL Monthly Used Book Sale. We thank them and our patrons for their tenacity!!!! While down on the lot, six additional tents were manned by community volunteers representing the San Carlos Friends of the Library (who gave out memorial pins, red roses, water and cookies), San Carlos Area Council, Navajo Community Planners, Grantville/Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club, Allied Gardens/Grantville Community Council, and San Carlos Community Gardens. A craft table and SDPL Mascot ODI the Coyote entertained the kids. The Quadra Bass Band provided music and ended the celebration with a great rendition of the Halleluiah Chorus. Special thanks to Councilperson Campillo’s office and SCBL Managing Librarian David Ege for putting together this celebration.
Many Navajo area and SCFOL volunteers, City of San Diego officials, their staffs, architect David Pfeifer, and other professionals, worked countless hours over the last 30+ years to get us to this point. We would like to thank all those present today, those not able to attend, and those no longer with us, (Jack Winer and Judy McCarty), who will forever be in our debt for their foresightful planning. The next step is the search for additional funding to make this dream a reality. You can help.