Don’t Like New West SJ Library’s Bright Yellow? You Can Vote for a New Color

The westernmost San Jose City Council District has been without a library since August, and residents can’t wait until the new 10,000-square-foot Calabazas Library opens in spring.

Calabazas Library

There’s just one thing that some District 1 residents would like to have changed before opening day: The bright yellow color on a portion of the building.

“We just got barraged with complaints,” said District 1 Councilman Pete Constant. “I was surprised at how upset people were over the color.”

So, Constant is putting the issue up to an online vote, giving San Jose residents four options: keep the yellow, repaint with grey and charcoal and keep a little yellow, repaint with grey and charcoal or repaint with rust. Poll closes June 30.

As with the other 15 new and rebuilt branch libraries, residents were able to give their input on Calabazas at two community meetings. But the renderings didn’t show the bright yellow exterior. At some point after the meetings, the yellow was added. Constant’s office didn’t investigate further.

What some residents don’t realize, Constant said, is that the building’s interior also has a color scheme using bright yellow. If residents had been able to view inside the library, Constant said, the protesters “might have mellowed.”

Nevertheless, democracy will rule. So far, the vote shows the option of using gray and charcoal — and no yellow — is getting 44 percent of the vote, followed by rust with 28 percent; existing color with 18 percent; and grey, charcoal and yellow with 10 percent.

Any San Jose resident can vote. The Calabazas Library, 1230 South Blaney Avenue, was built using funds from a bond measure. The repainting will cost about $15,000, Constant said.

The new library was finished last summer, but didn’t open because the city couldn’t afford to staff it. Thecity budget approved on Tuesday, June 19, provides staffing to open Calabazas, Seven Trees, Educational Park and Bascom libraries and the Bascom Community Center