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May 6, 2024

PLEASANTON, Calif. — The City of Pleasanton today announced that its lighting improvement project at the Pleasanton Library is scheduled to begin later this month. This project will replace the existing interior fluorescent lighting with energy efficient LED fixtures and upgrade the building’s outdated lighting control system. Work will commence following Memorial Day weekend and is anticipated to continue through July 2024. 

The library’s interior light fixtures have not been upgraded since they were originally installed in 1988 when the library was constructed. The approximately 500 recessed fluorescent light fixtures located throughout the 30,000-square-foot library will be replaced with new LED light fixtures to provide significantly better light quality, energy savings, and cost efficiency. These new light fixtures will reduce the amount of energy used throughout the building by 54%. 

Additionally, the building’s interior lighting controls installed in 2011 no longer function properly, and library staff are no longer able to modify or properly manage the controls. This lighting control system will be removed and replaced by a new system currently in use at several other city facilities. The new system will be easily accessed and operated by staff, coordinate better with the dimming capabilities of the new LED light fixtures, and offer improved zone control. 

Replacement of the library’s lighting system was identified as a priority project in the 2022/23 City Council Work Plan with the recommendation of the Library Commission, along with the replacement of the library roof, which was completed in May 2023. The project was approved by City Council in January 2024 with project costs estimated at $1,270,470, and the construction contract was awarded to American Wholesale Lighting. The Pleasanton Library will remain open to the public while work is being completed. Individual sections of the library may be closed temporarily while work is conducted in these areas. 

The library has suffered from inadequate lighting resulting from its deteriorating light fixtures — many of which are completely inoperable. This becomes particularly problematic in the evenings and during the darker winter months. Areas between book stacks and near seating areas are left without sufficient light, which inhibits library users’ ability to browse library collections, read, and study. 

The original manufacturer of the library’s lighting control system is no longer in business, leaving the library without anyone to service the equipment. Ongoing issues with the system have led staff to control lighting by turning off circuit breakers in the electrical panels. Eventually, as individual light fixtures increasingly became non-functioning, the remaining lights were left on overnight for fear of losing more fixtures. 

“We are thrilled this project will soon be underway and are eager for the updated lighting to be installed.” said Heidi Murphy, Director of the City of Pleasanton Library and Recreation Department. “The library’s faulty and outdated lighting is more problematic than a mere inconvenience. It disrupts our ability to serve as a welcoming place for community members to gather, pursue their academic and personal interests, and freely access information. On occasion, poor lighting conditions have even affected library staff’s ability to perform their duties, such as needing a flashlight to locate and reshelve materials in the evening hours. We are excited we will soon be able to offer a brighter and more inviting environment for library users.” 

The replacement of the library’s fluorescent light fixtures with LEDs supports the City Climate Action Plan (CAP 2.0) reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of the project’s 54% energy savings is especially profound in a large building such as the library where lighting is necessary for longer-than-normal hours, including late into the evening and on weekends. The new lighting control system will further support the City’s efforts to make its buildings more energy efficient through better daylighting and dimming features. Further, this project advances the City’s ONE Pleasanton Strategic Plan goal of Investing in Our Environment. This project promotes the effective use of existing facilities through repair, with a focus on environmental stewardship. 

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