By Carlos Correa

STOCKTON (CBS13) — City leaders in Stockton are considering moving forward on a new multi-million dollar project they hope will provide a safe place for people to learn and play.

The Stockton City Council took the next step in designing the city’s newest library and recreational center.

Right now, in the neighborhood where the proposed library and recreation center will be built, there is evidence left behind from an illegal sideshow. There are also empty beer bottles and garbage. Neighbors hope a new library will clean things up.

“When I go to work at one or two o’clock in the morning, that’s when they do the car shows because nobody is back there,” said Anthony Green, Sr., who lives in Stockton.

Neighbors hope the mess will be a thing of the past when Stockton builds its seventh library. It will sit on nearly five acres next to Ronald McNair High School.

“I think it’s good, for the young, people are excited,” said Lucio Gonzales, who lives in Stockton.

The library is expected to have a learning center with an area for children, a space for teenagers and plenty of books. It will also be a recreation center with a gym, kitchen amenities and enough space for community meetings and events.

“When Stockton was built out in the 80’s and 90’s, we didn’t build, we weren’t able to build any kind of public facility. So there is no library serving Stockton serving Hammer Lane. And so, for us to able to finally get a library in that place that really does equalize the services for people in the city,” said John Alita, director of community services.

Designs for the project will cost nearly $2 million. The overall construction is estimated to cost $15 million, most of which will be paid through Measure M funding, which was approved in 2016.

“They become a positive symbol of the community, a positive symbol of the what the city leaders envision for the community and it really does help create a sense of ownership and pride,” he said.

City staff hope construction can start by 2020. The goal is to have the library up and running by 2022.

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