CITYWIDE LIBRARY RENOVATIONS continue with groundbreaking of Portola Branch Library

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Breakdancers add new life to Portola Branch Library renovation project begun today with broundbreaking.
Photos by Bill Wilson
Sentinel Photographer
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

BY PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
Copyright © 2007 San Francisco Sentinel

The largest building campaign in San Francisco history for new and renovated libraries continued today with groundbreaking for the $6 million Portola Branch Library.

Slated to open in late 2008, the Portola Branch Libary is among 17 San Francisco branches to be renovated, four leased facilities to be replaced with City owned buildings, two branches to be replaced with new buildings, and one new branch in Mission Bay.

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Citywide library renovation participants include, from left, Fred V. Abadi, Director Department of Public Works; Charles Higueras, President of the San Francisco Library Commission; Luis Herrera, City Librarian; Supervisor Amianno; with architects Chris Noll and Susannah Meek.

Known as the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), funding comes from a $105.9 bond measure approved by voters in November 2000.

Located at the corner of Bacon and Goettingen streets, between E.R. Taylor Elementary and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle schools, the new single story branch will replace the storefront spaces on San Bruno Avenue leased by the Library for more than 50 years.

Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Sophie Maxwell joined Mayor Newsom in acknowledging the Portola Library is rooted in Portola community life.

“The Portola Library has roots in our city’s Southeast for over five decades,” said Newsom.

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Kids lend their voices to the countdown for the library groundbreaking. Present with shovels are Supervisor Maxwell, City Librarian Luis Herrera, Supervisor Ammiano, Library Commissioner Bautista, Library Commission President Higueras, and Mayor Newsom.

“Today, as we unite to break ground on this new facility, I am excited that our residents and the children of the neighborhood will have a state-of-the-art center to check out books, surf the internet or meet to do homework.”

The facility will provide community meeting space for neighborhood groups.

An expanded children’s section is included in the design by the architecture team of Noll and Tam and Stoner Meek.

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Mayor Newsom joined by architecture team of Chris Noll (with child), Jeffery Day and Tad Costerison.

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PAT MURPHY
Sentinel Editor & Publisher
In his youth, Pat Murphy worked as a General Assignment reporter for the Richmond Independent, the Berkeley Daily Gazette, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He served as Managing Editor of the St. Albans (Vermont) Daily Messenger at age 21. Murphy also launched ValPak couponing in San Francisco, as the company’s first San Francisco franchise owner. He walked the bricks, developing ad strategy for a broad range of restaurants and merchants. Pat knows what works and what doesn’t work. His writing skill has been employed by marketing agencies, including Don Solem & Associates. He has covered San Francisco governance for the past ten years. Pat scribes an offbeat view of the human family through Believe It or What.

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photographer
Bill Wilson is a veteran freelance photographer whose work is published by San Francisco and East Bay media. Bill embraced photography at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR). Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past three years.

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