Less than eight months before its fundraising deadline, the San Diego Public Library Foundation has raised just 15 percent of the money it needs to finish the new downtown central library.

Donors have given $4.8 million toward the library’s final phase, according to a presentation the foundation is scheduled to give a City Council committee this week. The foundation has until January to collect the remaining $27.7 million needed to continue construction once the library’s first phase is complete.

Last June, City Council approved the library, which also includes a charter school. Boosters continually stressed that the funds wouldn’t come from the city’s day-to-day budget and instead came from a mix of downtown redevelopment money, a state grant, the school district and private donations.

After years of delay because of funding problems, library construction began last year as the foundation convinced Mayor Jerry Sanders and the council it could raise the money.

It collected $30.8 million to get construction going and has pledged to find an additional $32.5 million to finish construction without any more public assistance.

If the foundation can’t meet the fundraising goal, the city would have to delay the project until the money is raised or pay for it some other way.

Construction continues on the library and city officials toured the site last month.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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