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
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
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
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.
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