New library could be coming to Tukwila
By STEVE HUNTER
Tukwila Reporter Reporter
July 20, 2012 · 4:06 PM
Plans are moving forward for a new library to anchor the proposed Tukwila Village on city property at the intersection of Tukwila International Boulevard and South 144th Street.
The Tukwila City Council agreed last month to sell a portion of the Tukwila Village property on the northeast corner of the intersection for $500,000 to the King County Library System, which plans to build an $8 million, 10,000-square-foot library.
"We've been working on this for many years, so I'm pleased we can move forward," said Bill Ptacek, director of the King County Library System. "We hired an architect years ago. But it's where we want to be and where the city wants us to be."
The new library, which will be about twice as large as the current 5,200-square-foot facility, will include more materials, computers, space for children and teens and a community meeting room.
Residents will get a chance to tell the King County Library System what they would like to see at the new facility during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Foster Library, 4060 S. 144th St. Initial design plans also will be disclosed at the meeting.
The overall Tukwila Village project covers 6 acres of city-owned property. The city hopes to turn the area into a mixed-use development that will include a library, apartments, a neighborhood police resource center, retail, restaurants, public meeting space and an outdoor plaza.
"It's a big moment," said Derek Speck, Tukwila's economic development administrator, about the June 25 vote by the council to sell the land. "It says we have a deal on the library parcel."
Speck said the deal remains in draft form but attorneys from the city and library system will work on a final agreement to come back to the council for approval in July or August.
Library system officials also will work with Tukwila Village Development Associates, the developer of the village, on an exact timeline for construction.
But right now it looks like construction could start in 2013, with the library finished in 2014, Ptacek said.
"It'll be a good project with a lot of support from the community," Ptacek said. "And we will work closely with the city."
Most of the costs will be covered by the $172 million capital bond passed by county voters in 2004. The KCLS Foundation Board agreed to raise an additional $1 million in order to build a 10,000-square-foot facility rather than the proposed 8,000-square-foot library.
"The great thing is the location on a prominent corner," Ptacek said. "We think we'll attract from a wider area than the current library and we already could use more space. The current library is not large enough for the demand. We need more space for people."
Ptacek said the new library will be a good fit with Tukwila's diversity and destination for many immigrants.
"This will not be a traditional library," he said. "There will be computers and books but for people who are new to the country and the area it will give them resources to become citizens. We want to accommodate that population."
Ptacek said the library system will either sell or lease the Foster Library, which opened in 1996. He said that process has yet to start.
Perkins and Will architects will design the library. The company designed the KCLS library in Sammamish that opened in 2010 and has received numerous design awards, Ptacek said.Contact Tukwila Reporter Reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.