Carnegie seismic work to finish next month
SNOHOMISH - The seismic retrofit project at the former Carnegie Library on Cedar Avenue is almost complete and will bring the 1910 building up to current safety standards.
The $1 million retrofit is expected to wrap up in March, city project manager Ann Stanton said. The building was reinforced to withstand earthquakes 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.
“It’s an incredibly important safety feature,” Stanton said. “The building was built in 1910 when they didn’t know enough about concrete buildings and earthquakes to make them safe.”
“It was at risk of catastrophic failure and that would mean loss of life to anyone inside,” she said.
Because of the safety risks posed, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid for a large chunk of the cost with a $658,000 grant. The Washington State Department of the Military Emergency Management Division chipped in $109,781. Funding from those two sources made up more than 87 percent of the project’s cost.
The remaining funds were provided by the city and local donors, matching the $109,781 from the state. 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 retrofit project is the first in a process to restore the building and open it back up to the public as an education center.
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. The work will begin on the restoration as soon as funding is secured.
The Snohomish Carnegie Foundation is charged with raising the money for the restoration project.
The Carnegie is located at 105 Cedar Ave.
“Carnegie buildings are one of the signature elements of the turn of the century for small towns, and to lose ours would be a real blow to our historic stature,” Stanton said.
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