Why is a new library needed?
After 20 years at our current location we realize that a new and larger facility is necessary to provide more space and expand programs to benefit the community. We’ve reached a tipping point in being able to meet community needs.
Our challenges at the current location:
- Lack of a community meeting room.
This really impacts our ability to expand programs and offer them at more convenient times for families.
Programs and classes in general — for kids of all ages and adults– have to be scheduled before or after library hours. Without a dedicated space for public meetings, we’re not able to accommodate groups who would like to meet at the library.
- We’re at capacity with the number of public PCs available. Access to WiFi is also limited due to space constraints and lack of outlets.
That impacts our ability to offer classes, too, and the capacity for people to check email, submit job applications, and take online classes.
- The building is not ADA accessible.
What is the proposed solution?
After much deliberation, the library board decided to look for a new location that would give us more capacity and flexibility. We were able to buy a parcel at 5th and Morris that was originally the location of Pedersen Automotive for many years. It was also the site of the hardware store. We are grateful to the estate of the Pedersens for making it possible for the library to buy this property.
Currently the Friends of the Library and La Conner Kiwanis are operating the Library Thrift Shop at the site. The address is 520 Morris Street. The thrift shop includes the Book Nook that was previously located in the current library, as well as household items and furniture. All proceeds are going to pay for the library’s mortgage on the property.
What kind of space is available for a new library?
The new library will be nearly 5,000 square feet–almost double the size of the current library–which will include a community meeting room.
It will have a separate children’s area, special area for teens, allow for more programs, expanded technology and computers, comfortable reading and study areas, and improved and easy access, in compliance with ADA.
What has been happening with plans for the new library?
We’ve been very busy doing important homework!
The library board sponsored several community sessions to gather input for the new building, which were very helpful. Based on feedback gathered at those meetings, we have worked with an architectural firm with library design experience to create a concept for the new library, and we have been advised by contractors with lots of industry experience. We’ve also done some site visits at other libraries.
We also created the La Conner Library Foundation to lead the fundraising efforts for a new library.
Who will be the architect for this project?
Miller Hull Partnership, based in Seattle, has been hired to develop preliminary plans for the library. The firm conducted public meetings to gather ideas of what the community would like to see in its library.
Do you know what the new library will cost?
The estimated cost of the new library is approximately $3 million.
What is the timeline for completing the library?
Our goal is to complete the project in three years, based on finalizing the concepts and cost estimates, fundraising, groundbreaking and construction.
How can I learn more?
Sign up for updates on the home page of the La Conner Library Foundation’s website. Pick up a brochure at the library that explains more about the project. Visit the Foundation’s Facebook page.
How can I help?
Contact the Foundation director, Susan Macek, at the library. She would be happy to talk with you about getting involved in this exciting project! Call 360-466-3352 or email email@example.com.