Evergreen Library expansion study begins
EVERETT - The city is taking the first step toward eventually expanding the Evergreen Library branch in south Everett.
The branch located at 9512 Evergreen Way is too small to accommodate south Everett’s growing population, library managers have been saying for years.
A study that will look into what a bigger branch will need began earlier this month.
The study will touch on expanding library activity space, Internet access, and the parking lot, among other needs, the City Council was told earlier this month.
Council President Jeff Moore wants the study to include input from the public.
The Evergreen branch is less than a quarter of the size of the main downtown library branch, but Evergreen saw a 39 percent increase in checked out items over the last five years. More than 400,000 items are checked out each year from the Evergreen branch versus 616,000 at the main branch located on Hoyt Avenue.
Everett-based Dykeman Architects, which built the Evergreen branch in 1989, should have conceptual designs for a bigger library in late July or early August, city facilities project manager Chris Lark said.
Finding funding for a bigger branch is still in the works. The key clues will come out of a yet-to-be-conducted feasibility study.
“We really don’t have a handle on what the cost might be,” city chief financial officer Debra Bryant said.
In 1989, the 8,500-square-foot branch was built with future expansion in mind, Lark said.
At that time, Everett’s population was 70,000. Now the city has nearly 105,000 people living here and much of that growth happened in south Everett.
It doesn’t take a lot of people for the branch’s computers to fill up or for the children’s area to overflow with kids, library director Eileen Simmons said previously.
In other library news, the Everett Public Library system is conducting a series of public input meetings and an online survey to help it guide future services.
The library’s online survey is on its website, www.epls.org, and closes Friday, May 31.
The last public input meeting was held Tuesday, May 21.
Among the limited number of public comments collected from the meetings so far: The area surrounding the downtown branch is not safe Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights; the Evergreen branch needs to triple in size; there is no need to extend library hours and that the library is a good source of education, Simmons said.
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