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Local News

Donors Provide Funding for Goleta Valley Library Storytime Room Renovation

Friends of the Goleta Valley Library and family of Goleta boy Jake Boysel gift city $60,000 to remodel "story well" in his name

storytime room at library Click to view larger
The children’s storytime area at the Goleta Valley Library will be renovated and renamed in memory of 12-year-old Jake Boysel.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A contribution from nonprofit and private donors will pay to renovate the ocean-themed children’s storytime room at the Goleta Valley Library, in memory of a Goleta boy who died in a vehicle accident in 2006.

The Goleta City Council welcomed the opportunity to improve the popular story room at the library, which transitioned into city control just three weeks ago.

Council members accepted the $60,000 donation from the Friends of the Goleta Valley Library and the family of 12-year-old Jake Boysel, who was hit and killed by a vehicle while riding his bicycle along Goleta’s Calle Real.

The Friends of the Goleta Valley Library and Karen Boysel, Jake’s mother, requested the space be named in honor of the young boy. Jake enjoyed reading and spending time at the library in Goleta, donors said. 

The council approved the placement of a plaque in the new children’s story room commemorating the project donations and accepted the naming policy to honor Jake.

“This is an appropriate way to honor his memory,” Councilman Kyle Richards said.

Starting July 1, the Goleta Valley Library at 500 North Fairview Ave. became independent from the Santa Barbara Public Library System.

“It’s one of the side effects of the city becoming an independent entity — we can pursue this project,” Councilman Stuart Kasdin said. “This was something that was unable to come forward because of the previous arrangement. It’s not a coincidence… after the city separated from the previous library system the we are able to go forward with this.”

The “story well” area is currently a circular room with small, rotating rainbow disco balls.

The project calls for filling in the existing floor, which is step-down seating and deemed unsuitable for disabled access.

Contractors will redo the room to current standards — including the installation of fire blocking, wall framing, drywall and a new ceiling — and create a rectangular room that has shelving space for books and tables for children’s activities like tutoring services, according to the city.

Contractors will also remove asbestos from the floor and drywall, city staff said.

Demolition and renovation work is expected to start in mid-August, and could take about a month, according to the city.

City staff said they will work with construction workers to minimize disruptions to library patrons during the project. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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