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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 6:21 pm | Fair 59º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Young Readers Check Out New Library at Washington Elementary

Dedication held for Santa Barbara School District campus' gleaming new facility

Ed Heron, president of the Santa Barbara school board, sits with students in the reading area of the new library at Washington Elementary School.
Ed Heron, president of the Santa Barbara school board, sits with students in the reading area of the new library at Washington Elementary School. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

A gleaming new library opened its doors at Washington Elementary School in Santa Barbara on Monday, replacing the old library formerly housed inside a portable trailer and giving students a beautiful space to read and study.

Students, school officials and Santa Barbara Unified District officials gathered just outside the library Monday at the school at 290 Lighthouse Road to cut the ribbon on the new addition.

Classic titles such as “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and “Clifford: The Big Red Dog” sat atop the library shelves with stuffed animal version of their characters perched next to the books, enticing young readers to grab a book and find a library corner to enjoy their read.

Before the project was completed, the library inside the portable trailer was crowded and didn’t have enough shelving space for all of the books, several students said.

Those books that didn’t make it onto a shelf ended up in a box that students would have to rifle through, said 11-year-old Samantha Quinonez, who was on hand with several classmates to check out the new library.

The shelves are also lower “so the little ones can reach,” the sixth-grader noted. 

Washington Elementary School’s new library offers plenty of shelf space for books, along with a reading area and computer desks. Click to view larger
Washington Elementary School’s new library offers plenty of shelf space for books, along with a reading area and computer desks. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Little Wildcats can now peruse the shelves of their 6,000-square-foot library, and the central reading room can hold 15,000 volumes.

Seating for 36 children along with space for eight computer stations as well as a storytelling area are new features in the library.

Washington Principal Sierra Loughridge, who began as principal at the school in 2014, said that the new library had been the “dream of a lot of people,” including her predecessors.

“This library is a major win for our community,” she said.

The project has been under construction since summer 2014, but has been in the works since 1998, according to Ed Heron, president of the district's board of trustees.

Funding for the project comes from Measure R, a $35 million general-obligation bond approved by voters to update facilities at local elementary schools, including Washington.

In addition to the new library, the school was able to install a new parking lot as well as a technology and engineering lab, which engages kids with 3-D printers and Lego robotics.

“Thank you to the voters,” Heron said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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