A New Library Task Force forms to coordinate the new library building project. This is a lean, nimble group that reports to both USL Board of Trustees and USL Foundation’s board. The Task Force is made up of 2 board members, 2 Foundation members, the USL director and 1-2 community members. Read the initial proposal here.
Spearheaded by local volunteers, the Friends of the Upper Skagit Library is transformed into the Upper Skagit Library Foundation with the intent that it will be the fund-raising arm of the new library project and will coordinate a media campaign for the project. Read the Concrete Herald article here.
Significant time and energy is put into writing/compiling a Building Program with design requirements and a vision for the new building. Library staff, Barb Trask, President of the Upper Skagit Library Foundation, and Greta Movassaghi, facilitator of the New Library Task Force, all contribute significantly to the project. Review the Building Program here.
We learn that HKP’s estimates and plans to build a library are beyond the scope and ability of the Library and Foundation to fundraise.
The District revisits the possibility of remodeling an existing building in town center; this makes much more sense now that the Town of Concrete has annexed into the District. John Boggs brings the American Legion Hall building to the District’s attention. John Boggs and Brooke Pederson write about it here. Part 1/2
Local benefactors purchase the Legion Hall with the intent to remodel and donate the building to the Library District.
The benefactors remodel the Legion Hall. The Task Force stops meeting. Roger Howard’s services are put on hold.
Library staff spends considerable time and effort planning a layout for the new library that considers staff requirements for good sight lines, work efficiencies, and patron safety concerns. These requirements follow up on the vision laid out in the Building Program. See 3D visioning of the library here.
The New Building Task Force is reconvened to help coordinate the next steps in turning the renovated Legion Hall into the new Upper Skagit Library. Again, USL Board members, USL Foundation members, library staff and community members are invited to participate. Roger Howard’s services as Project Manager are renewed.
High, medium, and low priority items/tasks for the new building are discussed and prioritized according to the District’s budget and staff and Task Force input. Compare the electrical plan additions here.⇓
The Task Force follows up with the donor and with West Coast Engineering structural engineer Ivan Kaliban regarding this recommendation in his report: “We found, however, rot/decay damage in posts that support the north beam (the northeast corner post and two posts to the west), the most damaged post in the northeast corner. We recommend extending investigation of sill plates and wood members that are in the direct contact with the concrete in the attic space.” (February 14, 2017). Read the original report.
GeoTest scans front entry to establish size limits for new doors.
The Task Force recommends to the USL Board that a new roof be installed as well as structural reinforcement of the ceiling. The Board agrees and votes to move forward on the work.
Because the building has been donated to the Library, and due to the savings plan of former, forward-thinking Library Board Members, the Library determines that it has sufficient funds to finish out the new space, to include the unexpected costs of a new roof and structural repairs. See the District’s 2018 Budget & Revenue Report here.
Some interior modifications are started by Mike Scott. We mutually agree to hold off on any further work until the ceiling structural repairs are complete.
Ceiling structure repair is bid out
Front entry is enlarged by Ace Concrete Cutting, and insulated entry doors are installed by Doorman Commercial. The new doors are weather tight, secure, and help the foyer function as an airlock for the main room.
The District deems it unsafe to install the weight of lighting until this work is complete. It was determined that it would be most economical and efficient to complete this contract before any further interior work.
Because the original lighting plan was a draft developed by staff, and due to the need to verify costs, the Library Board decides it would be best to employ an electrical engineer to provide a range of lighting options for board review. They also agree to review all planned projects before moving forward.
Project Manger Roger Howard resigns due to health concerns.
We are moving forward in good faith, excited for the next steps, thankful for the work that the donors and the Foundation have done to support and build our community’s library. All decisions regarding the new building have been made by the District with considerable thought and research, with the safety and security of our patrons forefront, all while striving to be the best stewards of our public resources.
In our Building Program, effective lighting and natural lighting are mentioned on nearly every page. With the desire to create different experiences in the library for our patrons, lighting plays an essential role. Efficient LED lights are expensive, but will pay off for the library in the long run. The lighting and data paths that were installed during the renovation have no relation to our proposed layout or desired use of spaces. An excellent lighting and data plan for our library is essential for patron and staff productivity, comfort, and overall efficiency as a public library.
Also, making sure that the building is safe and sound and climate controlled (installing sealed front doors, yet to install air conditioning) is fiscally responsible for taking care of physical library resources. Being a resiliency center for extreme temperatures all year round is a vital service that the library can provide with comfort and space for community members: a cooling center in the summer, a warming center in the winter. Updating the backyard of the new building with ADA accessible entrances for the library will be important for afterhours use of the meeting room (see picture). Other expenses on the high priority list are specific to running an efficient and welcoming library from the moment we’re able to open the doors.
Moving in to the new space is indeed the prize before our eyes! We’d ALL like to move in as soon as possible! However, moving in to a structurally safe, public-use building has been of ultimate concern to the Library’s Board of Trustees. Following all public bidding laws and procedures, waiting on contractors’ schedules, and running into other various hiccups along the way explains why the Library District has not yet moved in to their new, amazing space. We don’t want to move in and then need to close a week or two here or there to complete these projects. The Library Board of Trustees has made the fiscally responsible decisions to get our high priority items, such as repairing structural rot, installing air conditioning, effective lighting, and carpeting, done now before we move in and open.
The Upper Skagit Library staff wrote-up their dreams and visions for the new building and presented them to the Task Force. Later, a review of State Statute for Public Works Contracting stated that the USL must follow state statute using public funds no matter how big or small a project and requires a professional engineer or architect.
Structural work was completed to provide earthquake stability in addition to the structural repairs. The ability to safely occupy the space can now allow work to continue.
The Task Force met with SHKS Architects regarding their proposal, the final contract to include scope of services, phases of the project, etc. - BoT voted to accept contract with SHKS to complete the new library building.
SHKS went through the new building and assessed it’s needs putting together 2D and 3D programs for the Task Force to view. It include different cost options for projects. There is currently no completion date. The bottom line is quality, not frills.
Meanwhile, the Task Force met to discuss and explore any and all options for grants and/or loans to support funding the new USL library.
Four new Upper Skagit citizens join the USL Board of Trustees. The Board will review all aspects of the final contract before the final approval will be given.
New diagrams for the interior layout/floor plan were reviewed. Some contract bids for pending work are already out. The new building’s exterior was checked / tested for lead and none was found. There are only five items remaining for SHKS to get done.
In March - Covid-19 restrictions begin. The USL architect / SHKS begins working remotely. It is learned that bids cannot go out until the state gives an all‐clear.
The final package of work was completed and reviewed by the BoT and comments were accumulated from all board and task force members. USL BoT approved the final SHKS package’s scope of work. The board now awaits a response from SHKS concerning BoT comments.