LOS ANGELES -- Ronald Reagan Library Foundation officials have signed an agreement to build the $30 million Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on a 100-acre site in Ventura County overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
"It will be the first presidential library constructed west of the Rocky Mountains," said former attorney general William French Smith, chairman of the library foundation. "It's about time we had our appropriate representation out here."
"Froma standpoint of sheer beauty, we think we couldn't have found a more beautiful spot," said Gerald Blakely of Blakely-Swartz, which owns the property. The property is about 35 miles north of Los Angeles and 50 miles south of Reagan's Santa Barbara ranch.
The 44,000-square-foot library will cover five to six acres and will house personal and official papers, videotapes of news conferences and gifts the Reagans received from foreign heads of state during Reagan's presidency and governorship of California. The National Archives in Washington will run the library.
The option agreement signed Monday to deed the property to the foundation is contingent on congressional and county approval.
The 100-acre site, part of a 640-acre parcel in the Tierra Rejada Valley between Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, was among 35 proposals submitted to the library foundation.
In a telegram, the president said: "This will be an extraordinary undertaking and I am very grateful for the willingness and dedication of all involved."