EL CENTRO, Calif. – The old public library building on State Street is coming down, but memories of its glory days stand tall in the minds of some who grew up with it.
“As a youngster growing up in the 50s and the 60s, I can recall the library as being a place that we liked to stop at,” said Brawley resident John Hernandez.
Hernandez said it was more than just a place for homework.
“A safe haven for us,” Hernandez explained.
He remembers it being a place to socialize and cool off in the summer. He also called it a historical landmark.
“It’s sad to see a place as historical as that is – it’s over a hundred years old – see it go,” Hernandez said.
But it’s going and soon gone, said El Centro City Manager Ruben Duran, due to earthquake damage in 2010.
“This building was crippled. This whole side wall over here collapsed. And underneath – collapsed. And all of this building was compromised,” Duran explained as he pointed to slides of the building.
Duran says the building was beyond saving.
“This building here had to come down because structurally it was going to fall down,” Duran said.
Duran explained the city is already working on a new state-of-the-art public library that will cost over $15 million to tax payers.
“It’s a meeting place. It also has lot of computers, lot of electronics,” Duran said.
The plans should be completed by the end of 2016. Hernandez says even with portable technology available, libraries will always have a place in any community.
“This is one of the places that I think is a main stay in our society,” Hernandez said.