Library expansion talks continue

Damon Huff - [email protected]

Library expansion talks continued during the Mason County Public Library Board’s meeting on Tuesday, June 12.

Jeff Pearson, with Pearson and Peters Architects, said that a few things have been explored with a civil engineer about two options for library expansion.

One option, according to Pearson, would be to add around 3,600 square feet to the end of the library, which would avoid sewers and other utilities other than a water line on the property. This option would include a smaller building which would have additional library space.

The other option would be to add almost 40 feet to one end of the building, which would add around 5,000 square feet.

“This means we would have to change both sanitary and storm sewers that are about nine feet down and other sanitary sewer lines, as well as re-do the electrical transformer,” Pearson said. “At least a portion of the landscape retaining wall would also have to be redone.”

Pearson said the utility changes in the one building option would probably add around $150,000 as an additional cost.

The second option, which differs from the option discussed by the board last month, would consist of two buildings.

“I think there is a lot of merit to a two-building approach,” Pearson said. “You’ve got a room that is 1,466 square feet, plus a 488 square feet room, plus a full kitchen, plus more storage. It gives you a fair amount more space.”

Pearson said it would also give the library, in his opinion, a better children’s library since it would be larger than the one building option.

Option one would be around $3.9 million and option two would be around $4.1 million, according to Pearson.

“It’s about $200,000 difference in cost,” Pearson said. “You get more parking space with the one building plan, but less meeting space. You get way more meeting space with the other option, but you have to contend with two buildings.”

According to Pearson, the last budget estimate in February was for $3 million.

“That was before we knew about the sanitary sewer and found some of the other utilities we had to address and deal with,” Pearson said.

Pearson also said that more square footage than was previously estimated made the cost rise past what was originally budgeted.

Pearson said that since the money is so close for both projects, he said the decision was more about what direction the board wants to go with the design of the building.

Board members expressed concern for children’s safety with the two building plan, and decided to reach out to see if any libraries in the state had similar plans.

The board agreed to possibly reconvene for a special meeting to discuss the project more with board members who will take office in July.

Damon Huff

[email protected]