Community

Downtown library getting new roof

The Port Orchard Library’s roof is leaking in several places. - Kaitlin Srohschein/Staff Photo
The Port Orchard Library’s roof is leaking in several places.
— image credit: Kaitlin Srohschein/Staff Photo

The city of Port Orchard has scrounged up enough money to patch up the roof on the Port Orchard Library.

And the improvement comes none to soon for the library staff.

“Every time it rains, there’s a major flood in the men’s bathroom,” said Jeff Brody, the community relations director for Kitsap Regional Library. “Luckily, there’s a drain in the men’s bathroom, so the water comes in and goes right back out.”

There are other leaks throughout the roof, however, and the building has other problems.

Some of the windows also leak, others are damaged by graffiti and the carpet needs to be replaced.

Still, repairing the roof took priority, said Susan Whitford, director of technology and facilities for Kitsap Regional Library.

And the city is ready to do it.

“I’ve got the green light to move ahead,” said Mark Dorsey, Port Orchard’s public works director. “It’s scheduled to start in May.”

At that time, Dorsey plans to hire a local consultant to work on the plans for the roof, proceed with the construction and finish the project by the end of summer.

The city plans to use real estate excise tax revenue to pay for the project, which would not have been necessary if voters had passed a library lid lift during the November election.

“When we went out for the levy last year, we asked the mayor what the city wanted from the levy,” Brody said. “He told us that he wanted $3 million toward a new building.”

The city has considered building a parking garage for the downtown area, and putting a new space for the library on top of it, Brody said.

And eventually, the library could be moved.

Port Orchard’s city council listed library relocation as a long-term goal  on Feb. 12 at a meeting retreat.

If the council goes forward with that plan, it should sink as little money as possible into fixing up the old building, Brody said.

The city is interested in the library’s location because it owns the building, a renovated post office.

Kitsap Regional Library provides library services to the area through a contract with the city.

“We work with them,” said Whitford. “It’s a partnership. We decide who can pay for what and that kind of thing.”

The library system has a similar arrangement at seven of its nine branch locations.

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