Feb 29 2012

Piedmont Avenue Library May Move to Portable

Celebrating 80 Years in Architecturally-Designed Building – 

The Piedmont Avenue branch of the Oakland Public Library has been the only tenant in the architect-designed  library building since 1932.  The Library’s 80 years of service will be celebrated from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, with music, cupcakes, face painting and more.  

But this summer, it is expected, the building will be vacated and the branch library relocated in a modular unit on the grounds of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School.

Both the Oakland City Council and the Oakland Unified School District still have to consent to the arrangement, which has been under discussion for several years.  The School District is asking for a * $2,500 per month rental fee for the patch of ground on which a portable unit would be placed to serve as a library.

Two years ago, Oakland Public Library Associate Director Gerry Garzon was quoted an annual rent of $18,000 for a 1,200 square foot portable unit and $21,000 to truck the unit and install it on the 1,200-square foot school site.  Added to the $2,500 per month site rental, the first year cost would total $69,000 or $5,750 per month(Installing water, sewer and electrical lines to the pod as well as furnishings would be additional costs.)  The 1,200 square foot portable unit is 500 square feet smaller than the library building’s 1,700 square feet.  Future utility costs in the portable also would be higher because air conditioning is required.

The branch relocation appears less economical than continuing in the library building where a 10-year lease of $4,250 per month was rejected by the Oakland Library and City Council two years ago.

* As a comparison, several mobile home parks in Hayward and Oakland, rent prepared lots with all utility connections installed for $500-600 per month.  

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