Wednesday night architect Steve Rice unveiled his vision for a new library in Silverdale.
At the request of the Kitsap Regional Library, Rice has been working for two years on a design for a new library. First he was tasked with creating concept for a library around 17,000 square feet (roughly the same size as the Sylvan Way library). That’s back when KRL asked voters to approve a levy increase that would in part help pay for the construction of new libraries in Silverdale and Kingston.
When that measure failed, the library board went back to the drawing board for how it could expand the current Silverdale facility, which has been a desire of the library system and the community since 1998. Ultimately the board agreed to enter into an agreement with the county that would include hiring a consultant to conduct a feasibility study. (See my story from Dec. 12 for more details on the agreement).
The purpose of the study will be to gauge how much the community is willing to contribute to a capital campaign to build a new library in Silverdale. It will also survey the constituency to determine whether people support building a new library, or if they’d rather see KRL move into a larger, existing space in Silverdale.
While I’ve reported it repeatedly, it seems some people still think to build this library KRL will be increasing taxes. KRL will not ask for a levy increase, or increase taxes to build a new Silverdale library. However much the community says it’s willing to donate to the cause will be what KRL uses to fund its expansion. (The model will be similar to the one used to build the Haselwood Family YMCA — $12 million in public donations was raised to help build the facility).
If the community determines it would prefer to see a new facility built, KRL board members have said they’d like to see the facility built on the Central Kitsap Community Campus, where the YMCA currently stands. The Y was the first phase of the campus. The second phase will be the addition of a new library (assuming that’s what the community wants) and potentially the addition of a performing arts center.
Previously there was talk that a new library would be located where the Silverdale Community Center now stands. The idea was the building would be built into the hill — the community center would be torn down to make room. But during Wednesday’s presentation, Rice offered a new location for the proposed building.
At 8,000 to 10,000 square feet, Rice envisions the new library
to again be built into the hill, but this time located in the
southwest southeast corner of the campus site, directly
across the grassy area from the YMCA. Here’s a couple architectural
drawings from his presentation.
The first depiction shows a side view of the library, facing southwest, featuring the main entrance to the library on street level to the left, the view of a proposed gallery space and the entrance from the grass area — or village commons — to the right. While the building is proposed to be one story, there is an upper floor space for a community meeting room with views over Silverdale Way toward Dyes Inlet.
The second depiction shows the view looking from the second floor of the YMCA above the front door looking down the village commons toward the library. The entrance to the library from the commons is visible, and so is the back of the library, which Rice proposed would offer a presentation space facing the commons.
As I reported in my story, Rice proposed making the village commons/grass area more appealing to the public by adding walkway features, rose gardens and an outdoor amphitheater space that would be attached to the library building.
One of the big questions about this location though is parking. The building would eliminate 24 parking spaces to fit into the campus design, and wouldn’t add any parking. It wasn’t financially feasible to add an underground parking garage, Rice said.
Already parking is often filled on the campus site because of the heavy use of the YMCA, and many people at Wednesday’s meeting questioned how the site could handle more use with library patrons. County Commissioner Josh Brown said eventually a parking garage would have to be added to the 12-acre site, which has been the intention all along. The question is, who will be responsible for building (and paying) for it?
If the library locates on the campus a study will be done to determine the library’s peak hours and the YMCA’s peak hours. Programs would then be planned around those peak times, to try and minimize the parking problems, Brown said.
Obviously parking will be a big issue on this site until more can be added, and that’s something KRL board members and Kitsap County officials will have to address if they proceed with building a new library on site.