Mel Katz, chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, says his foundation has identified 13 "actively engaged" prospects willing to donate $10 million or more for downtown's new central library.
According to Katz, who spoke during the March 23 meeting of the Rules Committee, the foundation is confident that they will find the remaining $32.5 million needed to start construction on the project's second phase by the January 2012 deadline.
Finding the needed funds for the nine-story central library and home to a San Diego Unified School District charter high school has been difficult. The San Diego Public Library Foundation has identified half of the $64.5 million that they pledged, approximately 35 percent of the total $184.9 million project price tag. The remaining cost includes $80 million from CCDC, $20 million from state librarians, $20 million from San Diego Unified, and $32 million in private donations.
"We have a very strong connection with every one of these 13 people," Katz told committee members Tony Young, Kevin Faulconer, Sherri Lightner, and Todd Gloria.
One way that Katz and other fundraisers are trying to attract those big donors is by offering naming rights on the building.
"If you want your name on the library, then that's $20 million; the auditorium, $15 million; reading room, $10 million; and the main entrance $10 million," said Katz.
Councilmember Kevin Faulconer, although confident that the foundation would achieve its fundraising goal, made sure that the representatives from the library foundation were completely aware that the burden falls on them to identify that funding. "This task must be completed without public funds. There will not be general fund money available."