SEQUIM — A new conceptual plan to redesign and expand the Sequim Library, at 630 N. Sequim Ave., could add more than 3,000 square feet of space.
Planners with SHKS Architects of Seattle presented tentative plans in late April to library trustees and staff with about $7.79 million for total construction, taxes and fees.
The present plan would transform the library from about 6,200 square feet to 9,667 square feet, adding space for collections, meeting rooms, staff work areas and more.
“This is a good option — a full remodel, not just a little addition,” NOLS executive director Noah Glaude told library trustees at their April 28 meeting.
“This would feel like a whole new building and I think people would get excited about it.”
SHKS Architects will present an update on plans at a hybrid meeting in the Port Angeles Library, at 2210 S. Peabody St., at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Members of the public who wish to join the meeting via Zoom may do so by going to www.nols.org/board-administration and following instructions or by calling 1-253-215-8782. The meeting ID is 899 6391 7044. The passcode is 267523.
The North Olympic Library System board was told last month that the system had about $5.1 million for the project so far, including $2 million from a state Department of Commerce Library Capital Improvement Program Grant, $2 million from NOLS’ capital reserves, an estate donation, individual donations and other sources.
In a phone interview, Glaude said that this summer a more refined schematic and cost estimate would be worked up by SHKS Architects to present to the public.
He said library staff are confident the library system can secure the remainder of the funding elsewhere, such as through grant writing and a community campaign.
Once a design is complete, Glaude said the library system would put out construction bids in late fall/early winter of this year with construction starting in spring 2023, and finishing nine to 12 months later.
David Strauss of SHKS Architects told trustees that supply chains have leveled out compared to six to eight months ago, but that his staff is seeing project costs going up as there are less laborers available — causing projects to take longer to complete.
Sequim Library Manager Emily Sly told trustees in April that the project and its remaining costs seem reasonable.
“[The project] meets most of the needs and we feel we’ve been fairly conservative,” Sly said. “We have this amazing opportunity with the state grant and we will make it a great library for the community.”
Pia Westen with SHKS Architects said the tentative plan includes expanding multiple areas, such as the children’s, teen’s and activity spaces, while adding various-sized meeting rooms, more linear shelf space and aisle width.
As patrons enter from the west side, they would be able to see through the whole library to the east and the outdoor space. The restrooms and entrance could remain on the west side while an expanded staff area would move to the north side of the building along with holds/self-checkout and a public computer area.
The Friends of Sequim Library, a group that hosts a monthly book sale from Rock Plaza in a donated space to raise funds for library programs, would have a space in the lobby, according to the concept design. Friends group leaders said they plan to stay in Rock Plaza as long as the owner allows them, and they hope for more space in a future design update.
The Sequim Library currently has one meeting room, and the concept plan adds a few, including a large room for up to 105 people.
The Sequim Library opened in 1983 and for about half its lifespan, community efforts have continued to expand space, including a failed bond proposal in November 2018 to build a new 17,000-square-foot library.
In January, Glaude told trustees the COVID-19 pandemic “made it very clear that we simply need more space in the building.”
Donations to the project are accepted at nols.org and northolympiclibrary foundation.org, with tax-deductible donations to the North Olympic Library Foundation. For more about the Sequim project, visit nols.org/sequimlibraryproject.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].