Fresno County Library eyes vacant television station offices

The Fresno BeeJanuary 30, 2014 

Fresno County Library officials got the green light this week from Fresno County supervisors to make an offer on the recently vacated offices of a television station.

The 17,605-square-foot building east of Fashion Fair mall is at 4880 N. First St. The former site of KGPE (Channel 47.1) covers 1.9 acres and has gated parking. The television station property, listed at $1.8 million, would serve as new offices for the county library.

County supervisors discussed the potential deal in closed session Tuesday, so details of the proposed purchase weren't disclosed.

In addition to administrative office space, the television station building will have room for a training center and headquarters for a new mobile library program.

If the administrative offices move north, the existing downtown library offices would be converted into public space for library visitors. The second floor of the downtown branch would be freed up for additional local documents, such as genealogy, said Supervisor Judy Case McNairy.

Supervisor Henry R. Perea said the new space on the second floor also will provide more space for computer bays and a system to preserve older documents.

"I think it's going to be a good use for the downtown library," he said. "Considering that downtown is the flagship of our library system, adding a whole floor for additional public service is the big win."

Perea said gated parking at the new site would prevent vandalism to library vehicles. He said library vehicles parked downtown have been damaged in recent years.

The KGPE building became vacant late last year after the television station merged its local operations with KSEE (Channel 24.1) and moved into KSEE's building on McKinley Avenue, west of Fresno-Yosemite International Airport.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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