Guest Column

Jerold D Kappel, CEO

Newport Beach Public Library Foundation

Witte Hall groundbreaking

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Photos courtesy of NBPLF

Celebrating the Witte Hall groundbreaking

The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation and the City of Newport Beach broke ground on a $23.7 million state-of-the-art lecture hall, named Witte Hall with the lead gift from William Witte and Keiko Sakamoto, on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Witte Hall has been a 10-year vision for a hall that will transform the quality and character of programs and events of the Newport Beach Public Library as well as the extended Newport Beach community. The hall will enrich people’s lives and be a source of pride for the community by providing informative and entertaining programming of literary, cultural, artistic and educational value.

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Jill Johnson-Tucker, chair of the Beyond Books capital campaign

According to Jill Johnson-Tucker, chair of the Beyond Books capital campaign, “The shovel in the ground is the culmination of a 10-year effort to build a lecture hall, a civic auditorium, that reflects the pride our community has for this city, this Civic Center and this library.”

Witte Hall will be nearly 10,000 square feet, technologically advanced, with tiered seating for 299 guests, and fully ADA compliant. Located next to the Central Library, Witte Hall will also include an expanded courtyard, now named the Stahr Courtyard, with a major gift from the founder of the Library Foundation, Elizabeth Stahr.

Although parking in the lot in front of the library will be restricted during construction, once completed, the number of parking spaces will be preserved.

The Witte Hall groundbreaking ushers in the second phase of the Beyond Books capital campaign for Witte Hall.

The foundation has already secured the funds needed for the City Council to begin construction. Its goal for the second phase of the campaign is to raise an additional $4 million to complete its pledge to raise 50% of the total cost of Witte Hall from the community. Major donors to Witte Hall ($25,000 and above) will have their names on the donor wall in the Louise and Roy Woolsey Memorial Lobby.

For more information, please visit Witte Hall – Newport Beach Public Library Foundation (nbplf.foundation) or contact Jerold D Kappel, CEO of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, at 949.717.3890, or ceo@nbplfoundation.org.


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