Source: Central Kitsap Reporter
By: Chris Tucker
Posted: Dec 1, 2015
SILVERDALE – A future new library for Silverdale is one step closer to reality after the Kitsap Regional Library board of trustees voted to finalize the purchase of the selected 1.3-acre site on the corner of Blaine Avenue and Bucklin Hill in Silverdale during its Nov. 22 meeting.
The new property borders an estuary, salmon spawning stream and a network of trails. It presents an opportunity for KRL to partner with other community organizations to build a library with an strong connection to the natural environment.
“The Library is a central partner to everything we are doing in Central Kitsap right now,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe.
Private donations enabled KRL to move forward with its plans to build a new library for the Central Kitsap community.
“We are excited by the opportunity to be stewards of this land and protect a piece of our environment. The possibilities for a new ‘nature smart’ library—connecting our community to the natural world with new ways to understand and interact with this fragile ecosystem—are endless,” said Library Director Jill Jean.
After hearing public comments in May, the board voted to proceed with the earnest money to purchase the property. Since then, the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation has been working to raise the $850,000 needed to finalize the purchase of the property by the Nov. 25 deadline.
“We want to thank the Sound West Group, whose community-minded spirit has made this wonderful Clear Creek site possible,” said Foundation Director, Jaime Forsyth. “Because of a generous library lover from Bainbridge Island and a $100,000 grant from First Federal Community Foundation, we have achieved the first in a series of key milestones that will lead to the completion of this project.”
Library leadership has been inspired by the meetings it has had with potential donors throughout Kitsap County. The library does not intend to break ground on the 10,000 square foot building until the campaign goal of $7 million has been reached. The $7 million figure includes costs for both the land and construction of the building.
If fundraising goes well, construction on the new building is could begin in the summer of 2017.
The new library will be about twice as large as the existing one and will have three times as many parking spaces. The new library is planned to have comfortable seating for users to gather and read, making it a “living room” for the community. It will also feature a coffee and snack bar.
The current Silverdale library began as a modified 16-by-16 Army surplus building in 1945 and has not been expanded since 1980. Since that time, the demands on the library have increased dramatically. With only 5,000 square feet and 14 parking spots, the Silverdale location is still one of the busiest libraries in Kitsap.
“We know that this community has been waiting for a new library for a generation,” said Jean. “This library will set a new standard in Kitsap County for what a library can be.”
To learn more about KRL’s project, or to learn how to show support for the project, visit KRL.org or call the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation at 360-475-9179.