In July, 2019, the City Council acted upon a recommendation of the Board of Library Trustees and took the initial steps to consider building a Lecture Hall at the Central Library Campus. The preferred location for the Lecture Hall will be contiguous to Avocado Avenue and connect to the existing Bamboo Courtyard and the Central Library. The Lecture Hall is envisioned to have a comfortable permanent seating capacity of 275, superior acoustics, sightlines and high-quality design features and materials. It will complete the Central Library Campus. In order to evaluate the proposal further, the City Council appointed a Library Lecture Hall Design Committee (LLHDC) to recommend an architect to the City Council.
After an extensive evaluation process, LLHDC recommended Robert Coffee + Associates (RCA) to the City Council. On November 19, 2019, the City Council awarded a design contract to RCA for the conceptual design of the Lecture Hall upon which a preliminary budget could also be based. LLHDC will offer design input and direction to RCA in the development of the conceptual design for the Lecture Hall and will be assisted by City staff professionals in working on this highly visible building.. Once the design concept has been vetted and a preliminary budget prepared, the LLHDC will make a further recommendation to Council as to final design. The estimated construction cost for the Lecture Hall is in the range of $7,000,000 to $8,000,000.
Several programming and conceptual design meetings are planned. The meetings are public and will be duly noticed with an opportunity for the public to offer comments on the conceptual design process and plans. Please see the City Calendar for meeting times and dates.
Part of the action of the City Council on November 19, 2019 was to enter into an agreement with the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation or another library support group to detail a public-private partnership to fund the Lecture Hall. At the January 28, 2020 Council meeting an action may be taken forming a City Council Ad Hoc Committee to negotiate a memorandum of understanding to identify both the public and private funding expectations.