Monday, November 8, 2010

Wednesday event: Dedication of County's first "green" library


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                    CONTACT:  Angie Castro, (213) 703-2823





The New State-of-the-Art Sorensen Library is One of County’s First Pioneer
Projects to Earn Silver Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council


More than 500 Elementary School Students Become New

Library Card Holders for Opening of Library


WEST WHITTIER (November 8, 2010) – Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will be joined by local residents and elementary school students in dedicating the County’s first eco-friendly “green” library at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 10 at the new Sorensen Library, 6934 Broadway Avenue, West Whittier, 90606.

The $8.9 million state-of-the-art library incorporates sustainable features and recycled materials – the building structure is entirely made of steel, approximately 40 percent of which is recycled.  The Library will earn a Silver Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of its sensitive design.  This will be one of the County’s first pioneer projects to achieve this distinction.

As part of Molina’s priorities, and the County’s overall goals, specific emphasis on environmental sensitivity was placed in constructing Sorensen Library -- most are carefully integrated in the design instead of tacked on afterthoughts. Many of the materials are recycled.  The building structure is entirely made of steel, and approximately 40 percent is recycled. 

Large windows deliver soft natural light and afford delightful views of trees and sky.  Building orientation brings sunlight from the north providing more heat gain and requiring less air conditioning use. Interior lights are electronically controlled so when the natural light is sufficient, they remain off.  On a cloudy day, the system automatically turns on the lights to maintain adequate illumination. 

Roofing material reduces heat gain from the sun.  Paving reflects heat rather than absorbing it.   Parking lot special paving absorbs rain water for percolation to aquifers reducing the amount of site water that floats toxins to the Santa Monica Bay.  Landscaping is drought tolerant, and irrigation system’s reclaimed water reducing profligate water consumption.  Plumbing fixtures provide low water consumption.  Parking stalls encourage fuel efficient vehicles and ride-sharing. None of the materials used release noxious fumes into the atmosphere.     








During construction, wood, asphalt, concrete, drywall, and other materials were carefully sorted for recycling.  Construction dust was largely controlled, both indoors and outdoors to reduce airborne contaminants. Energy consumed will be at least 25 percent less than a conventionally designed library.  Water consumption will drop by 50 percent.  Tons of waste material will be redirected from landfills to recycled uses.

The new 10,655 sq ft Sorensen Library, offers a Homework Center, Community Meeting Room with Multimedia and Audio System, Teen Area, Self-checkout Stations, 23 Public Computers, free WiFi Access, State-of-the-Art Multimedia and Audio System, Family Place Program and Reading Spaces.  As the county’s first “green” library, Sorensen meets the LEED Silver rating, and is part of the county's Sustainable Design Implementation program, using the LEED-New Construction rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Sorensen Library is part of the Sorensen Park complex.  The new library was made possible by Molina and the County Library. 

In anticipation of the new library, Molina and the County Public Library initiated a special library card registration drive to ensure that children in the community received their very own library card.  More than 500 children have registered for new cards to date, and several thousand students are still using their existing library cards. Students K-5 form Sorensen, Phelan and Carmela Elementary School participated in the campaign.

The Sorensen Park and Recreation Association established in the late 1940’s lobbied for a local library, and the original 1,048 sq ft Sorensen Library opened in 1956 as the smallest in the County’s public library system.  Since then, the library has closed and reopened twice – once due to funding; and second in Nov 2008 due to construction for the new library to be dedicated Nov 10, 2010. 

For more information, contact (562) 695-3979 or       







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