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February 8, 2023

Capitola Library set for summertime opening

CAPITOLA—Work is moving forward on the Capitola Branch Library on the busy corner of Clares Street at Wharf Road.

Currently, workers are installing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems overhead and in-wall, said Megan Blackwell, marketing manager for Otto Construction, the general contractor for the job.

Over the next few weeks work will begin on exterior finishes, including tile walls, storefront window systems and siding. 

“We are looking forward to opening the library this summer,” said Steve Jesberg, public works director for Capitola. “I think our community has enjoyed watching the project come to life as walls have gone up and people are excited to see the finished product.”

The $13 million project sought to transform the previous 4,300-square-foot temporary structure into an 11,700-square-foot hub with a community room, an expanded children’s wing, study and reading rooms, reading “nooks,” an outdoor reading deck, a fireplace and a space for teens.

Measure S, which voters passed in 2016 to fund library construction and upgrade projects in Santa Cruz County, provided $10 million, while the city’s general fund and redevelopment money added $2.6 million.

Friends of the Capitola Branch Library helped raise the remaining $750,000.

An estimated 60,000 people visited the branch each year, making it one of the busiest libraries in the county.

“We know this is a special project for the community of Capitola, and it is for Otto Construction as well,” said Carl Barrett, Otto Construction president. “The city officials and construction management team are highly committed to the project and have been great to work with.”

For information, or to make a donation, visit

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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