Workers have been putting the last-minute, finishing touches on the new Foster Library in Tukwila.
The 10,000-square-foot facility, at the corner of Tukwila International Boulevard and South 144th Street in the new Tukwila Village development, opens Saturday, April 29. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the grand opening.
The current library, 4060 S. 144th St. — just east of the new building — will close at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 23, so that staff can to move the existing collection to the new facility.
During the closure no library items will be due, and holds will not expire. Held items can be picked up at the new library after the grand opening.
The new library will have the same hours as the current facility: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
At almost twice the size of the current 5,200-square-foot facility, the new library will feature an expanded collection, more computers, additional seating and a community meeting room.
The additional space will allow the library to better meet “the need in the community and diversity of the community,” said Greg Smith, director of facilities for the King County Library System (KCLS). “It is kind of a transition point for a lot of people. It is just a nice resource to have a bigger library for people.”
“It was originally slated to be 8,000 square feet, but we got with our KCLS Foundation, and they raised another $1 million to help bring us it to the 10,000 square feet,” Smith added.
In addition to the $1 million from the foundation, the $9.6 million project was funded by a $172 million capital bond passed by county voters in 2004.
The project architect was Perkins + Will, of Seattle, and Edifice Construction, of Redmond, was the contractor.
The Tukwila School District has an agreement to purchase the current library, which opened in 1995, for $1.19 million and plans house its technology and maintenance/operations departments there. The district’s 2016 construction bond measure included funds to purchase land and build a new facility for these departments.
Accessing the new library might be challenging particularly during the next few months as construction continues other projects in Tukwila Village and the city begins road improvements to 144th Street. Flaggers and signs will help direct traffic, Smith said.
“(The city) assured us they will have plenty of people out there directing pedestrian flow,” he said.
There are 22 parking spots in lot north of the new library. More parking will be available as work on Tukwila Village progresses and improvements to 144th Street include on-street parking. There is overflow parking for the library in a lot west of the current library building.
The library is the first completed project in Tukwila Village, which covers 6 acres of city-owned property. The mixed-use development will include apartments, a neighborhood police resource center, retail, restaurants, public meeting space and an outdoor plaza.