A new conceptual plan to redesign and expand the Sequim Library, 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.
This 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.”
The North Olympic Library System has about $5.1 million for the project so far, including $2 million from a Washington State Department of Commerce Library Capital Improvement Program Grant, $2 million from NOLS’ capital reserves, an estate donation, individual donations and more.
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-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.
When asked by a trustee, Sequim branch manager Emily Sly said 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 their 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.
Some of their planning principles included adding more daylight, access to the exterior, separation between activities, better movement and much more, she said.
As patrons enter from the west side, they’d have vision 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.
Glaude said they may add laptops and/or tablets to check out later and the computer area may change as needs change.
Sly said that based on her conversations with consultants she’s thought more about light and how it impacts staff, such as when they must open and close curtains at certain times of day in order to work on computers.
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. Glaude said they plan to include the volunteer group in future conversations about designs.
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.
Some specifics, such as where exterior book drops would go, aren’t established yet, Glaude said, but staff intend to have a drop that goes directly into the building.
Any design shouldn’t impact neighbor Thrive Church’s parking, and they are meeting with their leaders to discuss plans, he added.
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.”
For more about the Sequim project, visit nols.org/sequimlibraryproject.