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Board chooses Bucklin Hill Road site for new Silverdale Library

After years of conversation and months of studying the latest round of proposals, the board of trustees of the Kitsap Regional Library has decided it wants to build a new Silverdale Library northeast of Bucklin Hill Road and Blaine Avenue.

The 1.14 acres is being offered to the library for $900,000 by a private owner, the Sound West Group, LLC. It was one of four locations that were under consideration, including two on the Central Kitsap Community Campus that houses the YMCA and is owned by Kitsap County.

On Tuesday, after more than an hour of presentations by architect Steve Rice and other library officials, the board voted in unison to support the Bucklin Hill Road site which is also referred to the Clear Creek site because the creek runs along the property.

Prior to the vote, Library Director Jill Jean asked the board to support the Clear Creek site.

"After listening to everything that has been presented and looking at the ins and outs of each of the possible locations, I know in my heart that this (Clear Creek) is the right decision. This site will, as our mission statement says, "be an inspiration got our community to dream more, learn more, do more and be more."

Board president Dan Gottlieb echoed her sentiments.

"The residents of Silverdale need and deserve a library facility that inspires them to dream more, learn more, do more and be more," said KRL Board President Dan Gottlieb. "We have a chance now to make that happen."

Jean noted that the site selected is "special" and is "in a wonderful natural setting" in Silverdale.

"I just want to ask everyone in the community, whether this was your preferred site or not, to come together now in support of a new Silverdale Library," said Jean. "The community has needed a new library for far too long. We'll need strong community support to make this dream a reality."

Of the four sites, the Bucklin Hill location was the one that had a water view and nature nearby, including the Clear Creek Trail, which will allow for outdoor programming, one of the criteria that was set forth for the new library location.

Library Trustee Teresa McDermott said she supported the Bucklin Hill Road location.

"Our decision won't please everyone," she said. "But the decision we've made tonight will be for the community's greater good."

Rice, who was hired by KRL to analyze the options, said the cost to acquire the Bucklin Hill property, build and equip the proposed 10,000-square-foot library along Clear Creek is estimated at about more than $6 million. It's planned to be a one story building and will have at least 35 to 40 parking spaces.The area also will allow for future expansion of the library and more parking.

Fundraising is expected to begin immediately and if negotiations to purchase the property are successful, building could begin as early as fall of 2016.Rice said by that point, the expansion of the Bucklin Hill Bridge near the site, will be completed and would not impede the library being built.

The property where the library will be built is currently a staging area for construction equipment on the bridge project.Library Trustees said the fact that the land was vacant was a plus. In the case of the two community campus sites, demolition of a Kitsap County Sheriff's precinct office, a community theater building and the Poplars apartments would have to take place before any construction could begin.

Another drawback of the campus sites, Rice said, was that there were "unknowns," such as whether the library would be asked to take part in future improvements such as a parking garage if one was to be built there.Jeff Brody, director of community relations for Kitsap Regional Library, said more than 260 comments were received from the public during community outreach. Of those, 136 favored the Bucklin Hill Road/Clear Creek location.

Another 49 preferred the community campus locations, and 56 favored renovation of a 19,000-square-foot building located at 3888 N.W. Randall Way, just west of the community campus.Three members of the Central Kitsap Community Council attended the meeting Tuesday at the current Silverdale Library which was standing room only. They were on record as favoring a site on the community campus.

"I'm very disappointed," said member Rob MacDermid as he left the meeting.Council President Natalie Bryson said, "the decision's been made and we wish them well."

Kitsap County Commissioner Linda Streissguth, who helped author the proposals to site the library on the community campus didn't attend the meeting but later issued a statement.

"We appreciate the opportunity for the campus to be considered and respect the Board of Trustees decision to locate elsewhere," she said.

"We recognize building large-scale capital projects, such as a new library, are complex in nature and a lot of thought and effort went into evaluating the pros and cons of each location. "We compliment KRL on their effort to seek community input," Streissguth added. "We look forward to supporting the library in their capital campaign and realizing a new library for Silverdale."

The current library is about 5,000 square feet and has not been increased in size since 1980.

 

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