One more week until the reopening of the Port Orchard Library.
“Renovation Celebration” will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, with a ribbon cutting scheduled with a short ceremony thanking donors, along with guided tours and children’s activities, according to Branch Manager Kathleen Wilson.
“I can’t believe we’ve been closed for almost two months,” Wilson said. “I’m so thankful for all the patience our community has shown in waiting for the reopening of our doors and I hope you’ll find the wait has been worth it”.
Wilson said the library has been trying to keep everything under wraps with covered windows.
“It hasn’t been that fun for staff and our construction crew working inside the building and missing the beautiful views of Sinclair Inlet we have in our children’s area,” Wilson said.
The library closed Aug. 31 for the renovation, which included replacing carpet, moving and redesigning the staff area and combining the circulation and reference desks into one single-service desk.
Jeff Brody, director of community relations for KRL, said the renovation was made possible by the city’s investment in the building last year.
“The replacement of the old, leaking roof allowed KRL to make a commitment to install new carpeting in the building, and that led to several other things as we began planning for it,” Brody said.
According to Susan Whitford, director of technology and facilities with Kitsap Regional Library, the total estimated cost of the renovation was about $130,000.
“The overall cost includes floor prep work, construction, carpet, furniture and shelving,” Whitford said.
Whitford said KRL contracted with FPH Construction, Inc., of Bremerton, for the construction, painting and electrical work, and with Great Floors, of Silverdale, for the carpet and vinyl.
“We believe South Kitsap library patrons will really appreciate how we were able to create more spaces for them to use in the library building,” Brody said.
In preparation for the reopening, the library’s newest staff member, Lindsay Tachell, is working on putting together some scrapbooks of the history of the library, Wilson said.
Wilson said earlier this year she discovered that 2014 marks the 90th anniversary of city’s public library service and is the 50th anniversary of Kitsap Regional Library services in Port Orchard.
“We’re planning for a celebration of these anniversaries at some point in 2014,” Wilson noted.
The first public library in Port Orchard was established when the local Parent Teacher Association was granted the use of a portion of Town Hall as a town library. It was funded by private donations until the following year, when it was included in the city’s tax levy.
The library operated as an annex of City Hall on Sidney Street until 1947. Wilson said the Port Orchard Library has moved four times over the years and the current location in the “old post office” has now undergone three extensive renovations as library services and needs of the community have evolved.
Wilson said major donors of the remodel are the Kitsap Regional Library Foundation, Friends of the Port Orchard Library, South Kitsap Rotary, Phil Grey Foundation, Port Orchard Rotary, Fred Meyer Foundation, Kitsap Bank and the City of Port Orchard.
“There are many private donors — both large and small — that have requested to remain anonymous,” Wilson said. “This was truly a community project, with our patrons helping in numerous ways — from checking out up to 100 items and holding them for seven weeks to those that attended or donated to our comedy night fundraisers.”
Wilson said following the reopening day, the library will return to its regularly scheduled library programming from book groups to classes for your preschoolers and toddlers.
“It’s shaping up to be a busy winter and I hope to see everyone soon at the newly remodeled library,” Wilson said.