Porterville ready to unveil plans for new library 2 years after tragic fire

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Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Porterville ready to unveil plans for new library after tragic fire
Two years ago, Porterville's library burned down, tragically killing two firefighters. Now, the city is finally ready to unveil plans to replace it.

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- In December of 2020, the Library Facility Planning Committee was established to listen to what the community of Porterville hoped for in the new building.

The committee gathered comments, searched for locations, communicated with the city, and reviewed eight possible sites.

"They had criteria of multiple things they were looking at in the site, things from the accessibility, location, size of the parcel, who owned the parcel," says Porterville Parks and Leisure Services Director Donnie Moore.

In December of 2021, the property located on Olive Avenue near the South County Justice Center was presented and approved by the City Council.

The 15-acre piece of land has two parcels. One is city-owned and the other will soon be.

Moore says the state-of-the-art library will offer much more than it did before due to the community's input both inside and outside.

"There will be some meeting spaces on the inside for large gatherings, as well as small spaces and everything in between," Moore said. "There will be things like maker spaces, cooking, tech, sound rooms and things like that."

Moore says one thing they will never forget is why the library is being rebuilt - the fire that took the lives of Porterville Fire Captain Raymond Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones.

RELATED: Families of Porterville firefighters killed feel it could have been prevented

"Never forgetting what happened and what took us to the reason why we are getting this new library, something where we will definitely have a portion of in the library, some remembrances of the unfortunate tragedy," Moore said.

A temporary library will be up and running in April or May at the shopping center located on East Thurman Street.

But until these doors open, the city hosts pop-ups three times a week near city hall for the community.