Forks Library set to close Wednesday for renovations

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — The Forks Library will close Wednesday so the building can be prepared for major renovations expected to start no later than June 12 and take about nine months.

Library staff expect to have the temporary Forks Library location at 71 N. Spartan Ave. opened by June 1, said Theresa Tetreau, manager for both the Forks and Clallam Bay library branches.

“We’re shooting for that June 1 opening date,” Tetreau said.

“I’m pretty confident we can open by then.”

The Forks Library will be closed completely during construction, Tetreau added.

Tetreau said library staff will begin next week to clear all the estimated 25,000 to 30,000 Forks materials, including books, magazines and DVDs, from the building at 171 S. Forks Ave., placing them either in storage or at the temporary “pocket” library about two blocks north of the Forks building.

“The next few weeks will be a flurry of activity,” Tetreau said.

Pocket library services will be limited, Tetreau said, but patrons will be able to place holds and pick up requested items, as well as have access to three public computers, a printer, Wi-Fi and current newspaper issues.

The temporary location also will be stocked with a small collection of popular titles, Tetreau added, and will keep the same hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The decision to close the Forks Library came last week during a special meeting of the North Olympic Library System Board of Trustees, which oversees public libraries in Forks, Clallam Bay, Port Angeles and Sequim.

The board also approved a $537,517 contract with Port Angeles-based Hoch Construction to complete the Forks renovation.

Hoch Construction’s bid came in $70,453 less than the library system’s original estimate, system director Paula Barnes said, and the difference will be put into a contingency fund for the construction, which is expected to last nine months.

The project will include replacing the branch’s roof, electrical and ventilation systems, Barnes said, in addition to a handful of additional improvements not included in the original bid but that can now be done because of Hoch’s low bid.

“Fortunately, the bid for the base [cost] and [additional improvements] was below our budget, so we can do everything,” Barnes said.

These additional items include a canopy over the building’s meeting room door, waterproofing the exterior columns and a kitchenette in the staff lounge.

Barnes said the library system has set aside a total of $835,000 for the renovation project, funds that include the purchase of new furniture, technology upgrades and costs associated with moving to and renting the temporary facility.

The money will come from the library system’s operating budget, timber revenue and an expected $175,000 from community fundraising efforts, $173,500 of which has been raised so far, Barnes said.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 20. 2013 6:17PM
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