Not only is the new East Rancho Dominguez Library a bright light beckoning readers to browse through its bookshelves, it is now also the first building built by a Los Angeles County agency to receive one of the highest honors in environmental design.
The 7,200-square-foot library on East Rose Street and South Atlantic Ave. in unincorporated East Rancho Dominguez was recently granted a coveted LEED Platinum status from the U.S Green Building Council. The designation, decided on by a national committee of architects, designers and environmental experts, was given for the library’s design and eco-friendly construction including the use of solar panels, installation of water efficient facilities, drought resistant landscaping and its pedestrian friendly setting. By achieving the highest LEED status, the library which was completed in late October, stands as a national model of innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility that others can point to for inspiration. With so many concerns about climate change, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has taken the lead in ensuring new buildings in his 2nd district neighborhoods also reduce their carbon footprint. The library is only one example among dozens of new projects to “green” the 2nd District. The new library, which is home to 35,000 books, public computers with Wi-Fi Internet connection, a community room, homework study room and displays of public art, is the anchor in part of a community revitalization effort that will create a town center feel around the adjacent East Rancho Dominguez Park. With its bright blue, orange and fuchsia panels and welcoming drought-tolerant landscaping, the library is expected to become a hub for the community.
Next for Rancho Dominguez is the construction of a new $4.4 million senior and community center that will be built across the street from the new library at East Rancho Dominguez Park. That new center, will provide referrals for health care, mental health, employment services and other social and recreational services to approximately 1,200 residents, but it will also include a dining area, computer room, game room, fitness equipment and office space. Construction is set to begin in 2014.
“When residents walk by the new library and see the solar panels and preferred parking for electric vehicles, they are experiencing first-hand what it’s like to live in a more sustainable world,” said Supervisor and Board Chairman Ridley-Thomas. “Once they learn about the design features used for the library it will hopefully be a natural transition to begin using compact florescent light bulbs and drought tolerant landscaping at their own homes. Everyone can reduce their carbon footprint and this library shows people how they too can live a greener life.”