Richmond awarded $9.7M grant for upgrades to Main Library

Richmond surveys residents on planned renovation of Main Library
Photo of Main Library courtesy of Richmond Public Library.

The City of Richmond has been awarded a California State Library Building Forward
grant of $9,712,979 to make critical upgrades at the historic Main Library, according to the City Manager’s Office.

The grant, which requires that the city match the funds, will support upgrades to the aging building, including seismic, HVAC, flooring, electrical, lighting “and many more,” City Manager Shasa Curl said at the City Council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Details on the upgrades planned for the Main Library will be revealed at an upcoming City Council meeting, Curl added.

The Main Library opened in 1949 as the first glass-fronted library building in the country. The facility was not included in the 2009 renovation of Civic Center structures, according to the city.

“This grant will help upgrade the Main Library to ensure that it can continue to serve the
residents of Richmond well into the future,” the City Manager’s Office stated.

The Building Forward Grant Program is part of the California Budget Act of 2021 (SB 129), which allocated $439 million in one-time funds to the California State Library to address life-safety and critical maintenance needs of public library facilities throughout California. The maximum grant amount for the program is $10 million per public library building.

Read more about the Building Forward Library Infrastructure Program here.