The rule of silence at the Fountain Valley Library was broken Friday night when 350 residents and government officials streamed into the city's new library building at a long-awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Republican Assemblyman Nolan Frizelle and Orange County Supervisor Roger R. Stanton, a former Fountain Valley mayor, joined city dignitaries to deliver congratulatory remarks at the two-hour reception. The new 15,000-square-foot building is behind the old library in the 17000 block of Los Alamos Street.
Considered the crown jewel of the 27-branch county system, the avant-garde architecture is just one of the notable features of the $2.4-million library--especially in a city known for for its homogeneous building style.
Designed by Ralph Allen & Partners, the architects who worked on the newly renovated Santa Ana Central Library, the white-concrete structure's fan-shaped design follows the direction of the sun to ensure maximum lighting into the building.
"It's the kind of design that you either love or hate," said Ron Crosthwaite, director of interior design for the Santa Ana firm.
The library also features more space for community meetings, art exhibits and books. The new location can stock up to 10,000 more books, records and videos, for a total of 58,000 volumes. There are two reading lounges--one with a fireplace. Other features include a typing room, conference room and an assembly area that seats 125 people.
An expanded children's area features a 15-foot-long, dreamy-eyed dragon. Made mostly of vinyl in a variety of muted rainbow colors, the dragon's protruding belly serves as a seating area--much like a bean bag chair--for about 20 children.