Downtown library fundraising progressing

Artist's rendering shows the San Diego Central Library. Courtesy

City News Service

The San Diego Public Library Foundation has raised $6.9 million toward its $32.5 million goal to pay for the second phase of construction of the new Central Library, fundraising chairman Mel Katz said Wednesday.

The figure is $2.1 million higher than the last report to the City Council’s Rules Committee in June.

Katz said the foundation needs to reach its goal by the end of the year, and that “great progress’’ has been made recently.

Judith Harris, also of the foundation, said she and Katz are working with several prospective donors who would gain naming rights over the entire library, or portions of the facility, by donating between $10 million and $20 million. Another group of 41 potential benefactors could give a combined $15 million, she said.

“It’s going to happen. We’re not going to let you down,’' Harris told committee members.

She said that because of the recent progress, she feels less pressure to meet fundraising deadlines since she started work on the project four years ago.

The nine-floor library, under construction near Petco Park, will include meeting and cultural space. The upper two floors will house a charter high school operated by the foundation.