PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The proposed new library in Porterville just received a grant for several million dollars in seed money ahead of its upcoming construction.

City officials on Monday say Porterville was selected above other applicants to receive $7.26 million for the construction of the new library.

The former library was lost to arson, as were the lives of firefighter Patrick Jones and Fire Captain Ramon “Ray” Figueroa while battling the blaze.

The new library will be located on Olive Avenue, across from the city’s South County Justice Center, about a mile away from the previous facility.

The funding comes from the State Library, as part of its Building Forward Library Infrastructure Grant Program, which focuses on improvements and maintenance of libraries in underserved communities.

Construction of the new 40,000-square-foot library is expected to begin in late 2023 or early 2024 and planners are incorporating input from the community following a survey done in 2021.

Costs for the new facility are expected to run up to $30 million, and in addition to the grant, the City says the remaining funding will come from several sources including fire loss insurance proceeds, private donations, and other potential State and Federal funding opportunities.

A temporary library at Olive Avenue and Hockett Street will continue to serve patrons until the new library construction is complete.