By Leslie Kelly
Three property owners have proposed that their locations be considered by the Kitsap Regional Library to be the site for a new Silverdale Library.
As of the deadline last Friday, the library had received three proposals from property owners who want to host the new library, according to Jeff Brody, director of community relations for KRL.
“KRL plans to choose a site Aug. 26 and then begin a private fundraising effort to obtain the money needed to construction the new library,” Brody said in a statement released Monday. “KRL hopes to more than double the size of the existing Silverdale Library, creating a 10,000-square-foot facility.
Among the three proposed sites is the Central Kitsap Community Campus. The proposal came from Kitsap County and would place the new library within the boundaries of the campus, where the Haselwood Family YMCA is now a tenant.
A second proposal was received from a property owner who was not identified, but would mean the library would buy undeveloped property in central Silverdale and build a new library.
A third proposal would involve the purchase and renovation of an existing building in Silverdale. The specific location was not disclosed.
Brody said full details on the three proposals will be released during a work session of the KRL board of trustees on July 9. That meeting is open to the public, but no public comment will be taken. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Silverdale Scout Hall, next door to the current Silverdale Library.
Following that, KRL will take written comment on the three proposals. A display about the three sites will be up at the Silverdale Library for patrons to study. Any written comment needs to be made before Aug. 15.
Then, at 5:30 p.m. on July 22 a public hearing before the library’s board will take place at the Silverdale Scout Hall. The KRL board will then meet at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 26 to make a site selection.
“We have pledged all along that we would make this a transparent public process in which there would be information available on the potential sites so residents can share their views,” Brody said. “We also wanted to make it possible for our board of trustees and the public to be able to compare the potential costs and benefits of different sites.”
Sue Whitford, director of facilities and information technology, expressed satisfaction that the three proposals represented three different approaches to creating a new library facility.
One involves building on bare land, the second involves redeveloping a building site and the third involves renovating an existing building, she said.
The board of trustees for the KRL had planned to make a decision in June, but pushed it off to Aug. 26 in order to have more time to gather more information on possible sites.
Prior to the request for proposals, two sites had been discussed. One is the county-owned property known at the Kitsap Community Campus, near where the YWCA.
The other was property along Ridgetop Boulevard which is owned by the Silverdale United Methodist Church. KRL did not receive a proposal from the church.
Brody said because the public has expressed concerns about the two options — mainly parking and traffic issues — KRL continued to seek other Silverdale site options.
KRL plans to build a new library that will double the space it now has, at approximately 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. There is not an option to expand at the current Silverdale Library located in Old Town Silverdale.
The board had discussed another Old Town location, near the water, but that property, owned by the Port of Silverdale, is no longer available.