New branch library moves closer to reality in Sunnyvale

The City of Sunnyvale, in partnership with Sunnyvale School District and Fremont Union High School District, announced the approval of a new branch library and learning center in the city’s Lakewood neighborhood.

“Now we are leveraging and expanding off of the Columbia Neighborhood Center’s success by partnering to develop the Lakewood Branch Library and Learning Center, which will provide greater access, support, and enrichment opportunities for youth and families of north Sunnyvale,” said Sunnyvale School’s Superintendent Benjamin Picard.

“It is through these partnerships that enable us to better serve the residents of Sunnyvale,” Picard continued.

Sunnyvale’s City Council approved the project earlier this month, moving the 20,000 square foot facility another step closer to fruition, following a process that started nearly seven years ago when the Council selected Lakewood Park for a new library site.

Located on just more than two acres of Lakewood Elementary School land, on the site of the now-closed Lakewood Pool, the library and learning center will now move into a design phase, with community input opportunities forthcoming.

“We’re now looking forward to working with our community and school district partners to design and program this new facility and improve access to services in north Sunnyvale,” Sunnyvale City Manager Kent Steffens said.

With a current price tag – for design and construction – estimated at more than $28 million, the city hopes to have the facility open in early 2024. The City will lease the site from Sunnyvale School District for 50 years, with an option for 25 more afterward.

While the City will be responsible for most financing of construction and operations, both Sunnyvale Schools and Fremont Union are each contributing $3 million toward construction and 10 and 15 percent of budget costs respectively for ongoing operations, staffing, and maintenance.

The importance of partnerships to the approval was a sentiment that Steffens and Fremont Union Superintendent Polly Bove both echoed.

“With this agreement, we have demonstrated how collaboration and a shared vision can greatly expand what’s possible,” Steffens said.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to collaborate with our school district and city partners on important projects that will impact our students and residents in powerful ways,” Bove stated.

For more information on the new library, visit the City of Sunnyvale project webpage here.