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Public comment period opens for library site
Residents of Central Kitsap have about a month to make their opinions known about where the new Silverdale Library should be built.
Three proposed sites were made public last week, among them the Central Kitsap Community Campus, a privately-owned unbuilt lot new Clear Creek, and an existing building which is just west of the community campus on Randall Way.
According to architects with Rice Fergus Miller, who are under contract with the Kitsap Regional Library on the Silverdale project, the library will need 1 to 1.5 acres of land for a 10,000-square-foot library and at least 40 parking spaces as required by Kitsap County Code.
In a presentation to the KRL board of trustees last week, Steve Rice estimated that the new branch will cost $5.8 million, including construction, equipping the library, contingency costs and “soft” costs such as permits, sales taxes and professional fees.
Library sources have said the cost of the library would be paid through a fund raising campaign that could take up to two years. Hence, construction is not expected to begin until the fall of 2016.
Each of the three options have plusses and minuses, Rice pointed out in his presentation.
The most well-known site, the Central Kitsap Community Campus, is property that is owned by the county, and would be leased to the library for $1 per year. In the most recent proposal, there are two options for where the library could be built on the campus.
One is a 1.5-acre site in the southeast corner of the campus and would require demolition of the Central Kitsap Community Center. That is where the CSTOCK community theater group is now performing. CSTOCK’s board has been working with the library to possibly be a part of the new library, if it is built at that location, library sources said.
The county has agreed to pay for demolition of the community center, once KRL has a detailed site plan in place.
The second location on the community campus is another 1.5 acres on the east side of the camp between Silverdale Way and Poplar Avenue. Currently, this location has a rent-assisted apartment complex with 30 units, and six other commercial tenants. If this site was chosen, those buildings would also be demolished and the tenants would move elsewhere.
The county said, in its proposal to the library board, that it would pay the cost of that demolition, but it could not take place until 2018, which is after the libraries’ timetable for construction.
If KRL chooses either location on the community campus, KRL will have to pay its share of a traffic analysis with the county, and its part of the campus and road improvements which together could be up to $100,000.
The second option would be to build a new building on an empty lot at the northeast corner of Bucklin Hill Road and Blain Avenue. It would require purchase of 1.14 acres for $900,000 from owner Sound West Group LLC. Sound West also offered KRL a discount of $100,000 if KRL helps to secure a buyer for an adjacent lot north of the site for $800,000.
If this site is chosen, it would place the library near the Clear Creek Trail and nature area.
The third option is an existing building at 3888 NW Randall Way, which is directly west of the community campus, just across the street from the Haselwood Branch of the YMCA.
That building is currently an office building with tenants and is for sale for $3.3 million. Rice said to become the library, the 18-year-old building would have to be renovated and walls removed, so that there was 9,300 square feet of space on the first floor that could become the library. While construction of a new library is estimated to be $5.8 million, the purchase of the existing building, plus renovations would run about $4.08 million, Rice said. Additionally, there would be about $650,000 for furnishings, and costs of permits, sales tax, professional fees at about $1.2 million, making it more expensive than new construction.
None of the library trustees have voiced opinions about the options, thus far, and are waiting to hear what the public has to say before doing so.
A display on the potential sites is currently up at the Silverdale Library for the public to view and share opinions. The library will also take comments via email.
The KRL Board will host a public comment hearing July 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Scout Hall, next to the current Silverdale Library, at 3450 N.W. Carlton, in Old Town Silverdale.
The public comment period will end Aug. 15. The board is scheduled to pick the site for the new Silverdale Library at its meeting on Aug. 26.
Previously, there were other sites under consideration including one in Old Town Silverdale, but that was taken off the table when the Port of Silverdale decided not lease the property to the library. A site near the Silverdale Methodist Church was considered, but the church chose not to submit a written proposal in the last round of talks.
In all, KRL has paid Rice Fergus Miller $16,770 to date for its work on the Silverdale Library project, including analysis of the current sites, and the two previous sites.
In his summery, Rice seemed to favor the vacant property owned by the private company calling the Clear Creek site “an idyllic, visible and accessible site surrounded by natural amenities, rich with program opportunities; an ability to help decide your neighbor, a potential fast timeline…”
Of the Randall Way site, he said, “a near campus option already on the ground. Purchase price plus conversion equals higher cost. Limitations to planning and aesthetics. Second tier visibility.” He added that with a second story, the building was larger than what the library needed.
About the community campus options, he said, “KRL and Kitsap County must coordinate and commit to timelines between funding and site availability to make it work. Free land with obligations for future campus improvements, highly visible, but choice impacts ability for campus to add a larger project.”
Rice did not comment on parking limitations at any of the sites, which has been a concern of the public. He simply said county requires 40 spots and each site would have to be planned as such.