Mountain House residents were welcomed to the community’s new Town Hall and library complex, finally.

Nearly 16 months after they moved in, Mountain House Community Services District officials welcomed the community to the 53,619-square-foot facility, most of which had been closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Steve Pinkerton, Mountain House general manager, said he had waited a long time to introduce the community to the two-story Town Hall and adjoining Mountain House Branch Library.

“It’s been a long — almost a year-and-a-half — and we’re very excited to be here today,” Pinkerton said. “Originally, we were supposed to be here about 16½ months ago, but we’ve had some interruptions. The day we were supposed to unlock the doors to this building was March 17 of 2020. That was the day when I would say COVID shutdowns officially began.”

A crowd of a few dozen people toured the 21,633-square-foot library, which opened its doors to the public in July and is part of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library system.

The state-of-the-art library features more than 20,000 books, computer areas with a scanner, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, a dedicated maker space room and a separate children’s area.

Suzy Daveluy, director of Community Services for county library system, lauded the new facility.

“This is definitely the gem of our 16-branch library system, the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, so yay, Mountain House. This is beautiful,” Daveluy said.

Mountain House Community Services District director Bernice King Tingle praised their work on the project.

She moved to Mountain House in 2003 because she wanted to be part of a town with a plan and vision for the future.

“It’s wonderful after all these years to see things come into fruition. It’s taken some time, yes, but Rome was not built in one day but yet it still stands and it’s magnificent and so is this building and location,” Tingle said.

She said the new town hall and library can be a central part of community as the town grows.

“So, we will continue to grow and add to our community. This is a wonderful community to live in and I look at it always as community unity. Mountain House is a town that cares about one another, respects their neighbors, their friends, the diversity. This is a wonderful place to live in. But what’s most important is, it took time. But we have a wonderful location, a town center, a place where we can meet, greet and unite and live out our community vision,” Tingle said.

The complex cost $31 million to build. The two-story Town Hall gives residents a place to find municipal services like utility set-up and bill-pay, parks and recreation information and facility rental. There is also a large room for CSD Board of Directors meetings plus and offices for code compliance and permitting.

Supervisor Robert Rickman presented directors with a certificate to mark the grand opening and said it seems like he has been in Mountain House every week as something new opens.

“Mountain House, you guys are doing some awesome stuff here, and a lot of that recognition goes to Steve and the board and their vision for Mountain House,” Rickman said. “I remember when there was nothing out here but dairies and row crops, fields. You look at what was then and what has become now it’s just absolutely amazing and what the future holds.”

Harry Dhillon, a CSD director welcomed the community to the dedication.

“I’m so proud to have this kind of infrastructure here in Mountain House. We are so lucky. It is so clean and will be good for the next generation,” Dhillon said. “Maybe you guys don’t know, Mountain House library is one of the best libraries in San Joaquin County. Maybe there are libraries bigger than this in Stockton, but this is the best library in San Joaquin County altogether.”

Pinkerton echoed Dhillon’s view of the facility saying, “This is an impressive library we have here. It’s the second largest in the system and third largest in the county, yet we’re certainly not the largest community in San Joaquin County.”

Along with the dedication of the Town Hall and Library, directors were pleased with more growth, noting groundbreakings for an Arco gas station recently at Grant Line Road and Mountain House Parkway as well as a Montessori School on Central Parkway near Mountain House High School.

Manuel Moreno, CSD board vice president, said when he moved into Mountain House in 2007 it was promised that they were going to have a town hall and a library, a Safeway, a gas station and all the other amenities.

“We’ve always had the perseverance and the patience and the drive to really fulfill what this city, or town – hopefully a city soon – will be,” Moreno said.

Library hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sundays.

Town Hall hours are 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the Mountain House Branch Library (866) 805-READ (7323) or 937-8221. or visit http://www.ssjcpl.org/locations/county/mhouse.html. For more information on the Mountain House CSD visit https://www.mountainhousecsd.org/home.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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