Library to be built by Canyon Crest Academy

After more than 15 years of planning and development, construction is underway for the $27.6 million Pacific Highlands Ranch Branch Library on Village Center Loop Road, estimated to be completed in 2024.

The project — within walking distance of Canyon Crest Academy — broke ground in July of 2022 as a part of San Diego’s 10-year plan to build 12 new libraries and expand 12 existing libraries in the city.

In addition to San Diego’s long-standing efforts to invest in libraries, Gov. Gavin Newsom set aside $439 million of California’s budget last year to renovate community libraries.

“Many of our library branches are small, outdated and unable to meet community needs,” Misty Jones, director of the San Diego Public Library, said. “To ensure that all San Diegans are provided an equitable opportunity for growth, investment in libraries is crucial.” 

While funding was being secured, the library architect and construction team invited input from community members, who suggested including gathering spaces, study rooms, a maker space and public art in the design. 

“It is my ultimate responsibility to make sure we are delivering a project that the community loves,” Jones said.

Community Planning Group Chair Frisco White, who helps lead reviews of all development and planning projects in Carmel Valley, is especially proud of the library’s commitment to providing a diverse reading selection. 

“We have a library that caters to people that want to have a book in their hands or those that would rather have it online or digital,” White said.

This wide accessibility is something community members look for in libraries.  

“Libraries provide education in a environmentally friendly manner,” said Alyssa Wakefield (12), who volunteers on the teen advisory board of the San Diego Public Library, Carmel Valley Branch. “The whole point of the library is to make things accessible.”

The 18,000-square-foot facility will also be LEED Silver certified, being run exclusively on electricity to meet the city’s Climate Action Plan.

“[The city] has been working on taking gas and natural gasses out of buildings. So if we are powering buildings like the library with electricity alone, those buildings are not creating the greenhouse gasses,” said Brian Elliot, policy adviser for Councilmember Joe LaCava who oversees the northwest part of San Diego.

Looking forward, the new library represents another opportunity for young members of the community to grow.

“Libraries are a great place for communities to gather and a safe place for children. They really promote community and learning,” Sophie Richardson (11) said. “Libraries were somewhere I always felt so independent.”

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