Dungan Library reopens in Costa Mesa

Costa Mesa residents can once again peruse the stacks containing titles from "Snoring Beauty" to "War and Peace" at the Donald Dungan Library.

The county-run branch, one of three in Costa Mesa, reopened Wednesday morning after a nearly four-month closure for improvements.

The library, at 1855 Park Ave., closed in April so that construction crews could replace some of the building's aging and rotting wood beams, as well make the building more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The project cost $385,000, with an additional $35,000 for the design plan, said Bob Genzel, a project manager with the county's Community Resources division, which oversees the libraries.

The city of Costa Mesa chipped in about $100,000, and the county paid the rest. The building opened in 1987.

"When everybody participated, it became a very successful project," Genzel said.

Some nearby sidewalks, ramps, as well as the staff and public restrooms in the library, are now ADA-compliant, he said.

"We have a lot of special-needs people, and with the new ADA-compliant restrooms, they're more accommodating," Genzel said. "They'll be able to use those a lot easier."

Mesa Water District representatives gave out free empty water bottles, which some used at the library's new drinking fountain that was specifically designed for such a purpose.

The Donald Dungan branch will also be subject to a more regular maintenance program, which it didn't have before, said Hualin Hsu-Wingard, senior project manager with Community Resources.

"This a very popular library," she added. "When we were closed for construction, lots of people would come up and go, 'What's going on?'"

The integrity of the book collections was also maintained during the construction, Genzel said.

"No books were casualties," he said. "They covered everything in plastic and did a really good job."

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