Seismic work begins this month on Carnegie
SNOHOMISH - The city is getting ready to begin seismic work on the former Carnegie Library in the next few weeks and into early 2013.
The seismic retrofit project will make the historic 1910 building more stable during an earthquake by strengthening existing structure materials, replacing the clay roof tile and upgrading the building’s framing, diaphragm and roof-wall connections. Other project work includes replacing outside water and sewer lines.
During construction, the Carnegie building and the grounds will be completely closed. The work should last less than a year. The Snohomish Farmers Market will move up Cedar Avenue and take over more of Pearl Street during construction.
The total project cost of just over $1 million came in a little higher than earlier estimates, primarily due to a higher cost for the new roof. The majority of the cost is being covered by a federal grant. The Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the city about $800,000 for the retrofit work and supports the city adjusting the total project cost upward in order to move forward with the project. The council was discouraged from beginning the bidding process over because costs are expected to keep going up.
FEMA will chip in more money to adjust for the increase.
The council selected a contractor at last week’s meeting.
The Snohomish Carnegie Foundation, charged with raising money for the overall restoration project, will have to raise a little more for this phase of the project to account for the higher cost. The Foundation delivered a check for $8,000 to the City Council last week and pledged to raise another $13,000 by Jan. 31, 2013 for the retrofit work.
Foundation president Melody Clemans said the Foundation will have no trouble raising the additional money, calling the pledge “quite achievable.”
The Foundation plans to map out a strategy to raise the money, including reaching out to national and local funding sources.
If the money is needed sooner, the city will cover the cost until the money can be paid back by the Foundation. The loan will not strain the city’s budget, City Manager Larry Bauman said last week. Bauman said the city may not need to expend the money until late this year or early next year.
So far, the Foundation has raised $60,605 for the overall restoration project. The city also collects rental fees from tenants that go into a Carnegie reserve fund. When the seismic work is finished, an estate auction company that was renting out space in the Carnegie will return and pay $1,500 a month in rent.
The City Council signed off on the restoration project in early 2005. The project will restore the original entrance to the building, add new space on the east side of the building and remove the 1968 annex. That work will begin after this first, essential retrofit work. The building will then reopen to the public as an education center.
Clemans said last week that it is exciting to start seeing the work being done on the building.
Faber Construction was selected to do the seismic work. Faber recently did seismic retrofit work on Everett’s Carnegie Library, which is owned by Snohomish County.
To learn more about Snohomish’s project, visit www.snohomishcarnegie.org.