Groundbreaking on the new Michael Towbes Library Plaza will take place next week.
The groundbreaking at the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St., will commence at 11 a.m. Wednesday with light refreshments, speakers and an official shovel ceremony. The Central Library event is expected to conclude around 12:15 p.m.
The Michael Towbes Library Plaza is touted as an effort to provide an attractive, accessible and safe outdoor space at the library, which can be used to expand literacy and cultural programs. It will host book, career, college and volunteer fairs; new citizen celebrations; GED graduations; and other activities for children such as puppet shows and science experiments, according to the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation.
The plaza is a public-private partnership between the city and the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation. Santa Barbara has contributed more than $1.6 million to the effort, the foundation said.
The plaza is designed to be low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, and the foundation is creating an endowment fund for care.
Additionally, the library will prohibit loitering on the grounds, and the plaza will be designed to be flat and open to discourage vagrancy, according to the foundation.