Hunt Library Receives Additional $2.75 Million in State Funding!

The Hunt Library has received $ 2.75 million in funding in the 2021/2022 fiscal year budget just signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. This new round of funding will add to a $ 2.5 million State Library grant received last year by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. A press release from Quirk-Silva’s office called the new funding the result of “a joint request” made with State Senator Josh Newman, whose own press release said the additional funding will “complete the Hunt Library’s Revitalization Project so that the library may once again serve as a cultural landmark for the community.”

The new funds will not only help to complete reconstruction and renovations costs for the nearly 60 year old structure, but $ 250,000 will be used to “cover start-up funding for the cultural arts and library services,” according to Quirk-Silva’s office. Although the Hunt will not reopen as a city library branch, some sort of library function will be required to satisfy the perimeters of the State Library grant.

Opened in 1962, The Hunt Library served as a second branch of the Fullerton Public Library for over 50 years before being entirely defunded by the City Council and closed in 2013. The facility was leased to neighboring Grace Ministries International for several years before being removed from the city’s list of surplus properties at the urging of the community group Save The Hunt, who successfully campaigned to have the historic William Pereira designed structure and its surrounding grounds remain as a public facility. Local preservationist group Fullerton Heritage secured its status as both a local landmark and a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Council ultimately approved the formation of a Library Ad-Hoc Committee which recommended arts and literary programming for the Hunt.

The new funding comes at the request of Arts OC, who, in partnership with Heritage Future, were chosen by the City as a “programming partner” for the Hunt, although a formal contract with the groups has yet to be signed. ArtsOC CEO Richard Stein explained that his organization requested $ 2.75 million for the Hunt Library Revitalization Project, including $ 250,000 specifically for start-up programming, but Stein cautioned that the funds will be awarded to the City of Fullerton, who will ultimately decide how the money is to be spent. In March the City retained Thirtieth Street Architects for revitalization plans, which are expected to include a new roof, as well as other utility related repairs. At least some of the structure’s distinctive floor to ceiling windows are said to be in need of replacement. The mid-century modern building’s bathrooms will also need to be made ADA accessible.

The new funding is also expected to be used for work on the grounds and parking lot. The City’s Park & Recreation Dept. recently announced plans to move the popular dog park located on the Hunt grounds since 2011 to Brea Dam Park, a move Stein said would “mitigate concerns about conflicting uses as well as expand the areas available for outdoor programming and parking.” The group’s operations fundraising plan includes weddings and other special events rentals, a strategy employed by the Muckenthaler Cultural Center and Fullerton Arboretum, each of whom often hold such events outdoors.

Recommendations for programing will be included in a report ArtsOC and Heritage Future anticipate submitting to the City by the end of July, but Stein did allude to one event already planned for the Hunt. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts has been awarded to expand an existing Dia del Niño festival to the Hunt site for a day. The report is based on months of community input in the form of stakeholder interviews, an online survey, and visioning sessions at the closed library to help determine the Hunt’s programs. “We see our upcoming report as forming the basis for such an agreement, and look forward to those discussions with the City,” said Stein.

Final Day to Take Hunt Survey is June 25!

Take the survey now!

The final day to participate in a 15 minute online survey about what programs the public would like to see at the Hunt Library when it opens is June 25. If you haven’t yet filled out the online survey, please do so today. You can fill out the survey at this link:

According to the City of Fullerton, “This survey is intended to help guide our program planning by collecting input from members of the community such as you. Your responses will help shape the plan..”

Public Invited to April 18 Hunt Walk-Thru to Provide Input about Programming

Arts Orange County has scheduled a Sunday afternoon walk-thru session to solicit community ideas about what programs should be offered at the Hunt Library. The partnership of ArtsOC and Heritage Future was chosen by the City of Fullerton to develop and provide programming once the site reopens.

Sun, April 18, 2021, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM PDT

“What is YOUR vision for the historic Hunt Library? A walk-through & facilitated idea session.

Join us on Sunday, April 18 for a walk-through of this historic building and an opportunity to share your ideas for future programs to take place inside and on its grounds!

Check-in and walk-throughs begin at 2:30 pm
Facilitated visioning session 3:00 to 4:00 pm

Register for the event at this Eventbrite link:

COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place: masks required. Social distanced seating and walk-throughs. Attendance capacity limited.
Free parking on site at the Hunt Library lot and along Basque Avenue plus at Pacific Drive Park lot and Pacific Drive.”

Hunt Branch Library
201 South Basque Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92833

“Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in, and support for the arts and arts education in Orange County, California.  It provides free and low cost programs and services to artists, arts organizations, school districts, higher education and municipalities.”

You Can Participate in a City Survey About Hunt Library Programming

The City of Fullerton is inviting individuals to participate in a 15 minute online survey about what programs the public would like to see at the Hunt Library when it opens. You can fill out the survey at this link:

According to the City of Fullerton, “This survey is intended to help guide our program planning by collecting input from members of the community such as you. Your responses will help shape the plan..”

City Council to Consider Hunt Library Policy Statement

061620 ADM Hunt Branch Library Council Policy Statement

On June 15 the Fullerton City Council will consider a policy statement concerning the Hunt Library. The statement, reproduced below, begins with the very important statement that the Hunt should remain a property of the city and be utilized for the benefit of the public. Save the Hunt was founded to see a policy like this supported by the city and put into effect.

The Goals and Visions include recognition of the structure’s style and historical importance. This is a critical position for the council to adopt to avoid inappropriate restoration and/or additional structures on the site that might compromise this unique structure and campus. It could only be strengthened by adding that no additional structures should be built near the Hunt.

One might also wish for the council to support a policy of the Library Board of Trustees having some role in overseeing the site and activities there.

The City Council meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave., CA 92832, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, Ca, 93832. Options for public participation can be found below:

“PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: Pursuant to Executive Order N-29-20 and given the current health concerns, members of the public can access meetings streamed live online at, on Spectrum Cable Channel 3 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. The City Council Chamber will have limited seating available on a first- come, first-served basis for members of the public to attend the meeting in person. All persons visiting City facilities shall wear face masks and observe social distancing protocols.

In lieu of public attendance, members of the public can submit comments electronically for City Council consideration by clicking on the eComment link accompanying the agenda posted online at until the close of the public comment period for the item.

Alternatively, the public can send correspondence to the City Council regarding agenda items by emailing with the subject line “CITY COUNCIL MEETING CORRESPONDENCE – ITEM #” (insert the item number relevant to your comment) or “CITY COUNCIL MEETING CORRESPONDENCE NON-AGENDA ITEM”. Staff will forward correspondence received to City Council. All correspondence received becomes part of the official record of the meeting and posted online with the supplemental materials for that meeting. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at or (714)-738-6350 with any questions.




Community Efforts Lead to Beginning of New Era for Hunt Library

Kevin Staniec and Rick Stein address the Fullerton City Council


The Fullerton City Council unanimously approved the applicant recommended by a review panel to begin engagement with the city about providing programming and renovations to the Hunt Branch Library. A joint proposal by Heritage Future and ArtsOC received the support of all five members of the council, but not before at least two other applicants complained about what they perceived as an opaque selection process. Several speakers representing Access California, who scored third of eight applicants, asked the council to continue the decision to a future meeting. Council member Jesus Silva countered with a concern that the $ 2.5 million state grant secured by Assemlbywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (his wife) for restoration and upgrades to the facility might not be available for an indefinite period, and urged a timely decision by the council.

Council member Ahmad Zahra suggested that the motion to approve Heritage Future/ArtsOC should include a backup selection of runners up, but that effort was ultimately sidelined. Zahra eventually joined the other four members in voting in favor of the winning application without such a provision.

The city will now, according to the agenda report for the June 2 meeting, “begin work with the selected provider to finalize both physical improvements needed at the site in order to utilize a $2.5 million State appropriation secured by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and create a partnership agreement outlining the terms of operations and services for the future of providing the priorities as outlined by the Hunt Branch Library Ad Hoc Committee. The agreement will be brought back to the City Council for approval.”

Plans for renovations of the building and grounds merit close scrutiny. We will be following the process to see what the applicant and city have in mind, and work, where necessary, to ensure that any physical work on the building is appropriately conceived and executed.

The council’s approval of a partner to present new programming the facility marks a milestone in the efforts to Save the Hunt, once viewed as a relic whose best use to the city would be to sell it off for a short term financial gain. Instead, the building and site have been removed from the city’s list of surplus properties and have received some measure of historical recognition and protection, a public committee has recommended that the facility remain in public hands for the purpose of arts and literary programming, a partner selected to do just that, and $ 2.5 million secured to address the Hunt’s infrastructural needs. The story continues to unfold, but without the support of community members like yourself, none of these goals could have been achieved.

THIS IS IT! Final Hunt Library Decision This Tuesday, June 2!

Fullerton City Council Meeting: Tuesday, June 2, 6:30pm

Agenda Item # 10 (3rd major item to be heard)

We need your help Tuesday to let the council know if you agree with the recommendation to engage the winning respondent to the Hunt Request for Proposal (see below for this week’s Observer article). Please also ask that the Library Board of Trustees be allowed to oversee the new project, as the $2.5 million rehabilitation grant requires some type of library connection. 

As you know, the mission of Save The Hunt is to keep the Hunt Branch Library in the public realm for community use. We wanted to see something as close to a library use as possible, and are especially concerned that the building itself be preserved without undue additional or insensitive construction. 

In-person attendance is now allowed again at City Hall; social distancing and face covering required. Attendee overflow is next door in the Library Conference Room. 

You can also call (1), e-mail (2), and/or e-comment (3) the councilmembers:

(1)    (714) 738-6311


(3) (click “eComment” on right)

For more info:

  or call 714-729-3019

City Council to Make Final Selection of Hunt Applicant June 2

The proposal being recommended to the City Council.

The Fullerton City Council is scheduled to consider proposals for programming in the closed Hunt Branch Library during it’s regular meeting on June 2. Eight different organizations responded to a Request for Proposals issued last November by the city to solicit programming proposals for the site. A five member panel that included members of the Library Ad Hoc Committee reviewed the proposals following direction by the council in March. The highest ranked proposal came from Heritage Future in partnership with Arts Orange County. The council is being asked to approve staff engaging with the Heritage Future/Arts OC.

Eight responses were received to the city’s Request for Proposals, issued in November, 2019.

Arts OC is a non-profit arts advocacy group founded twenty years ago at a time when such an organization was lacking in the county. Every major, and most minor, arts organization in OC is a member of the group, which advocates for arts funding and support and provides organizational and other services to both local governments and constituent members. For many years they have managed the Imagination Celebration in Orange County. Heritage Future was founded by Kevin Staniec, a writer, publisher, and arts impresario who founded and directs the 1888 literary space in Orange and has organized exhibitions for the City of Irvine’s Great Park gallery for many years and previously worked for the Muckenthaler Cultural Center.

The joint proposal envisions utilizing the historic Hunt Branch Library as an arts and literary presentation and educational space. Staniec would serve as the program team leader, while Arts OC would help to conceive, plan, and implement programs for the space and grounds. The proposal also includes architect Robert Young, who would presumably direct use of $2.5 million in state funding for renovations and restoration of the building.

What oversight the Library Board of Trustees will have of the project is unclear, but the state grant requires that the site retain some aspect of library use.

The library’s tenant, Grace Mission University, also submitted a proposal to utilized the site, scoring at number 5 of the 8 submitted proposals. The next to highest score was received for a proposal called Hunt Library Gardens, but no other information about it is provided in the agenda report, nor were proposals submitted by Access California, Arborland (who operate a private school in Amerige Heights), Faruk Zia & Associates, OCHCC, or Bonnie Hall.

Concerns Persist About Hunt Library Proposals Process

Photo by Emerson Little, courtesy of the Fullerton Observer

Reprinted from The Fullerton Observer

In late November of last year, the city of Fullerton released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for partners interested in the revitalization and operation of the Hunt Branch Library, which has been closed to the public for over 5 years. Although the original RFP response date in late Jan. deadline was extended to Monday, Feb 24, the community group responsible for focusing attention on the fate of the closed library is asking that the deadline be extended once again to allow time for more potential partners to respond.

The group, Save The Hunt (STH), was formed to keep the Hunt Library in the public realm for community use instead of being sold, as suggested by members of the city council. STH are also concerned that the 1962 building and grounds, which has since received national registry status, be properly restored, and, additionally, not overshadowed by insensitive new development on the site.

Four events primarily contributed to community alarm over the future of the Hunt Library, given as a gift to Fullerton by Norton Simon:

-The Library had at one point been placed on a list of city properties for potential sale to try to solve the City’s financial woes. It has since been removed from that list.

-Several councilmembers stated that they were open to private purchase of the library by the neighboring church, Grace Ministries International (GMI), who purchased the neighboring site, the former Hunt Industries headquarters.

-In 2018 the City Council considered a move to wrest the governance of the municipal library system away from the sitting Library Board of Trustees, which, though ultimately unsuccessful, did result in a change in the city’s library ordinance.

-The abrupt closure of the Hunt Library in 2012 and subsequent lease to a private institution, GMI, at the a below-market rate: $1,500 for over 10,000 square feet in an iconic midcentury building.

Fortunately, a spirited effort was pulled together in 2018 to design a process that could fund a revival of the Hunt Branch. The city was pressured into forming a special Library Ad Hoc Committee, who pulled together an enormous amount of information under a very short deadline. Their final report to the City Council suggested that the City release an RFP to the community to develop interest in partnering with an organization that could provide funding for a library or provide programming in literacy, arts, culture, or education. In accordance with community wishes, they specifically recommended against private institutional or commercial use.

Programming Purpose

While the city’s RFP allows for non-profits and literacy, arts and education uses, it also allows for-profit organizations and even entrepreneurial business and workforce development uses. Save The Hunt hopes that the partner chosen will provide for a use more in line with the Ad Hoc’s recommendations.

Capital vs. Operational Funding and the Need for Publicity

Save the Hunt are also very concerned that many potential partners remain unaware of the RFP issued by the city. Without extensive outreach to arts and literacy organizations, only businesses who stay in touch with municipal RFP offerings will see the RFP at all. The City has expressed its hope that the community will spread the word about the opportunity, but the city should still make an extensive effort of its own to further publicize the RFP.

The city’s inclusion of the $2.5 million capital improvements grant from the State of California as integral to the RFP has attracted builders interested in repairing the facility, but may have intimidated nonprofits who can provide appropriate community programming from responding form responding at all. Save The Hunt suggests an option to separate the capital construction management aspect of the RFP from the nonprofit programming and operations purposes in order to attract more not-for-profit respondents. This option could attract more appropriate offers than proposals with a small amount of cultural and literacy programming, who might be more interested in responding primarily in order to qualify a large commercial development on the site.

Partner Selection

The RFP states that an evaluation panel will be formed at some point to make a recommendation to the City Council.  Although the library is technically owned by the City, the Library Board of Trustees governs most library issues, they are, at present, not included in the partner section process, although the board has requested that it be allowed to participate. The city should also considering drawing on the experience of the Ad Hoc Committee for this purpose.

To learn more, visit or call the City at (714) 738-6317 or Save The Hunt at (714) 729-3019″

City Releases Request for Proposals for use of Hunt Library

The City of Fullerton has released a Request for Proposals intended to solicit interest in “programming and operations” at the historic Hunt Branch Library. Submission are due no later than 5:00 p.m., Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 UPDATE: The city has extended the deadline for receipt of proposals to February 24. Deliver submissions to the City Clerk, City of Fullerton, 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, California, 92832.

According to the cover of the RFP, the city is looking for a partner to provide “cultural and/or entrepreneurial type services and programming”

According to the RFP, which can be found HERE,:

“Qualified partnership teams must have significant experience and demonstrated ability to develop successful and high quality literacy, educational, cultural and/or entrepreneurial programs. Qualified teams will have experience collaborating with various organizations and managing educational programs and services. The selected partner(s) will be responsible for programming and operations at the Hunt Library building.

The City has secured $2.5 million in funding to assist in the renovation of the interior library building and is prepared to work with the selected partner(s) to create a welcoming and efficient space for literacy, cultural and event programming.”

The timetable described in the RFP is as follows:

“Phase I (February) – Focuses on proposer(s) qualifications, experience, and other factors; and
Phase II (March – April) – Respondent(s) who meet qualifications will be invited for interviews.

Phase III (May) – Finalize recommendation to the City Council.”