SEQUIM — A temporary location for the Sequim Library’s operations during a remodel and expansion of its current building has been set.
Later this year, the library’s collections and other necessities will move into the former Brian’s Sporting Goods store, 609 W. Washington St., Suite 21, next to the former JCPenney in the Sequim Village Shopping Center.
In a July 17 special meeting, North Olympic Library System’s board of trustees unanimously approved a two-year lease — costing just less than $151,500 — with the McNish family, which owns and operates the shopping center. Board chair Mark Urnes was excused from the meeting.
The 40-year-old Sequim Library’s remodel and expansion project at 630 N. Sequim Ave. will add about 3,500 square feet to the 6,200-square-foot building.
NOLS’ officials anticipate construction bids tentatively going out in October, and construction beginning in January 2024 and finishing by the end of 2024.
The leased building is about 10,000 square feet.
Executive Director Noah Glaude said the two-year lease (Aug. 1, 2023 to July 21, 2025) allows enough time to improve the temporary space, move collections and allow for any construction delays.
Glaude said the organization looked at more than 12 sites in Sequim with enough space for materials, easy accessibility, plenty of parking, separate work space for staff and needed minimal repairs.
“We can make improvements well-suited for what we can do there,” Glaude said, including adding a sliding automatic door and opening up access to restrooms.
The move should allow staff to keep all collection materials, computers and other items available to the public, he said.
According to a staff report, no cost estimate was available for the renovations, but the NOLS’ Sequim Capital Project will use funds to pay for the lease, moving and building improvements.
Jennifer Pelikan, a trustee for the West End area, said she loves the fact that there’s a lot of parking and that it’s near KSQM radio, where staff could easily provide updates.
Glaude said the costs should be small for repairs and the organization plans to hire a professional moving company and a general contractor to prepare the space.
Staff plans to get estimates in the next month, he said, and add it to the total remodel/renovation cost.
Glaude said locations for events like storytimes and Summer Reading Program are to be determined, and they’ll likely continue to partner with other agencies such as the schools.
Ian Miller, Port Angeles-area trustee, shared concerns about signing a lease agreement before signing on a contractor for the remodel project and asked whether NOLS would be paying for extra time in the temporary space.
“There’s always the concern of getting the timing right, but we’re reaching a point where we can’t wait any longer, or it pushes the project out even longer,” Glaude said.
He added that the move would ideally occur in December and the temporary space would reopen Jan. 2, 2024, and the new building would open at the end of that year.
“We will wait to start the move until we know we have a contractor and they’re going to do the work,” Glaude said.
Current costs for the entire expansion and renovation project are estimated at about $9.23 million, including construction, permitting, equipment, architecture and engineering services.
NOLS staff estimates it’s raised about $5.13 million toward the project, and they anticipate pursuing non-voted general tax obligation bonds to cover the remaining costs of the project, once a request for construction bids is complete, according to a staff report.
Library staff continue to seek grants and community members to lead fundraising efforts to minimize the funding deficit, Glaude said.
The leased space and associated costs are not included in the estimate.
On July 17, trustees also approved an amended contract with SHKS Architects for an increase of $115,224 over the course of the contract for a total contract of about $1.3 million due to an expanded scope of work, the complexity of construction and general rise in construction costs, Glaude said.
He said the increase was not unexpected as costs become firmer closer to bid, and they’ll likely need to amend the contract again prior to going to bid.
SHKS Architects will also serve as the project manager during construction.
Glaude said consultants feel the market is good for going to bid in the fall.
Asked about the project’s silver standard for LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Glaude said it shouldn’t be affected, and they’re waiting for a grant to come through that would pay to increase solar capacity on the building.
“We expect quite a few savings to be awarded to this project because of how efficient we will be,” he said.
For more about the Sequim project, visit nols.org/sequim.
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@example.com.