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Faulk history center moves forward

Friday, August 23, 2019 by Jo Clifton

Despite Council Member Jimmy Flannigan’s opposition to using the former downtown library, known as the John Henry Faulk Central Library, as a history center, Council took a step toward conversion of the building Thursday, approving a resolution to use the construction-manager-at-risk method of contracting to renovate the building. At the work session Tuesday, Flannigan questioned whether the best use of the building was to become an archival repository. Several of his colleagues strongly disagreed. Council Member Kathie Tovo said it is an important repository of city records, as did Council Member Pio Renteria, who said he had also used it. Tovo pointed out that bond covenants seem to require the history center use. Flannigan said he wasn’t arguing about the value of the history center, just that it was not the best use of the centrally located building. Currently, the building has a number of city tenants, including the Innovation Office. At the end of Thursday’s discussion, there was a motion to approve the item with an amendment from Flannigan asking staff to investigate whether other city offices might be co-located there. That amendment won approval on a vote of 6-4, with Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Renteria, Leslie Pool and Tovo opposed and Council Member Alison Alter abstaining.

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