Anza Branch Facilities Survey

Image of Anza Branch LibraryBACKGROUND Year Built: 1932 Architect: John Reid Jr. Seismic Hazard Rating 3 Number of Stories Two Type: WPA Address: 550 37th Ave. Gross Sq. Ft.: 7,332


The recommended modernization improvements is to make the building accessible by adding an elevator and public restrooms at the rear of the building and to reduce the seismic risk associated with a major earthquake while preserving the historic character of the existing building.

The roof construction is made of concrete slab supported by concrete beams spanning over the reading rooms. The second floor construction consists of concrete slabs over a partly occupied first floor with spaced columns. The walls are reinforced concrete over continuous concrete wall footings.

The recommended structural retrofit is to add plywood sheathing to the roof, add sway bracing, roof-wall anchors, and steel trusses to strengthen the building. Stairway, restrooms, staff room, electrical room, mechanical room will be modified or relocated to conform to accessibility requirements, life safety related code requirements and owner improvements.

New or alteration construction must meet State (Title 24) and Federal (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines. Given the historic significance of the building, a careful review will be made to determine the most appropriate disabled access modifications. The scope of disabled access work anticipated includes: reconfiguring existing restrooms and adding new restrooms; new fire stair; new drinking fountains; modification of counters, bookshelves and table spacing at the reading room areas; and modification of doors and stairways. Application of the California Accessibility Code and conformance with the latest life safety related code requirements will include: providing a larger electrical room, new elevator, and new elevator machine room; providing a wider fire stair; providing new accessible restrooms, and wider library aisles.

Building code impacts involve the updating of the heating, ventilating, plumbing, fire protection, electrical and other building control system to bring it up to code requirements for life safety.

Current law requires removal of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s), including plasterboard walls, floor tiles, and roofing related to the anticipated construction activities associated with seismic retrofit and disabled access construction work. The removal of ACMs will require relocation of the building occupants because floor areas will be affected and there are significant health risks of exposure to airborne particulars associated with the removal of ACMs. Lead that is impacted will also be abated.

The interior remodel and seismic work trigger conformance work on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). To avoid reduction in the area of the library, much of the new expansion space can occur at the rear of the building.

Improvements include expansion at the rear of building for additional staff work area and increased storage. Scope may also include new front parking area, reconfigured main circulation service desk, window replacement, upgraded program/meeting room and additional electrical/data outlets. Incidental scope may include painting, floor replacement, new lighting, boiler replacement, and site improvements.



  1. The load path is deficient as follows:
    1. There are no ties at the reentrant corners.
    2. The roof diaphragm chords are overstressed in the north-south and east-west directions.
    3. The floor diaphragm chords are overstressed in the north-south direction.
  2. There is significant torsion because of the irregular shape of the building.
  3. There are non-reinforced hollow clay tile partitions around the basement furnace room and corridor.

Non-Structural Deficiencies

  1. There are non-reinforced hollow clay tile partitions around the basement furnace room and corridor.
  2. The suspended plaster ceiling is only partially braced in the entrance lobby.
  3. The furnace and hot water heater are not braced or anchored.
  4. There are unanchored tall, narrow file cabinets, storage racks, bookcases.


  1. Provide chords at the roof and floor diaphragm.
  2. Provide ties at reentrant corners at the floor to provide a delivery path for lateral forces.
  3. Provide ties between the isolated column footings in accordance with the recommendations of the geo-technical engineer.
  4. Replace the hollow clay tile partition at the ground floor corridor and stairway with metal studs and fire rated gypsum board partitions.
  5. Brace the suspended plaster ceilings and ornamental chandelier at the entrance lobby and the pendant fixture in the alcove.
  6. Brace/Anchor the furnace and hot water heater.
  7. Brace/Anchor wall shelves and free standing 6’-0" and taller bookcases.


  1. Existing building is not fully accessible to patrons with disabilities.
  2. Existing Service counters are not accessible.
  3. Existing toilets are not accessible.
  4. Existing doors are not accessible (too narrow).


  1. Provide and install new elevator.
  2. Install new accessible service counters.
  3. Renovate existing toilets to make them accessible. Install new toilet fixtures as required.
  4. Widen existing door openings and install new doors and hardware to comply with ADA requirements.


  1. Existing boiler is insufficient to handle the heating requirements of proposed expansion.
  2. Air circulation is very poor.
  3. Existing water heater and water pipes are old and inefficient.


  1. Install new boiler to serve both existing and new expansion and preserve radiators.
  2. Install a forced air ventilation system.
  3. Install new water heater and water pipes.
  4. Replace existing ducts and piping as required.
  5. Provide continuous ventilation in all restrooms during hours of library operation.


  1. The existing distribution equipment was found to be old and poorly wired and not enough to handle the load of the proposed expansion.
  2. Existing light fixtures are inefficient.
  3. Existing electrical outlets are not in all needed locations.
  4. Need to upgrade electrical service to accommodate elevator.


  1. Install a new main service panel to serve the proposed new electronic load in the basement that includes a feeder to a sub-panel for sensitive loads.
  2. Replace all existing light fixtures with new energy saving fixtures and, historically adaptable fixtures. Check and upgrade wiring and conduits as required.
  3. Install additional data/communication outlets if needed.
  4. Upgrade electrical panel.


  1. Need fire alarm and smoke detectors.
  2. Not enough exiting signs in the building.
  3. Need emergency lighting in case of power failure or in emergencies.
  4. Need additional fire extinguishers in the building.
  5. Need book security sensor.
  6. Not enough security lights in and around the building.
  7. Existing window and door grilles need to be replaced.


  1. Install new smoke detectors and fire alarm.
  2. Install new exit signs and emergency lights.
  3. Install new fire extinguishers at strategic locations in the building.
  4. Install new book security sensor.
  5. Install new interior and exterior security lights.
  6. Install new window and door grilles.


  1. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) are identified throughout the building.


  1. Where impacted by construction, abate asbestos in plaster walls and ceilings, caulking, mastics, vinyl sheet/tile floors, radiator insulation and vapor barrier under terra cotta tile roof.
  2. Abate asbestos if found in the hot water piping and fitting insulation.
  3. Lead that is impacted by construction shall also be abated.


  1. With the seismic retrofit work, valuable library floor space will be lost.
  2. Very small staff work and storage areas.


  1. Improvements will include expansion at the rear of the building to recoup space lost to elevator installation and enlargement of the mechanical room.
  2. Modify or replace existing windows with new operable windows for air circulation during hot weather days.


  1. Landscaping around the building well maintained and needs to be restored after construction.


  1. Develop a landscape protection, restoration, and maintenance plan.
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