Washington State’s capital budget for 2021-2023 includes $5.72 million for Sno-Isle Libraries capital projects for community libraries in Lake Stevens, Mariner, Langley and Darrington.
The state support for Sno-Isle Libraries comes as a result of the leadership from State Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, State Rep. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, and State Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, to support library capital improvements. Rep. Tharinger is also chair of the House Capital Budget Committee and led the creation of the state’s Library Capital Improvement Program in 2019.
“Our public libraries are important cornerstones of a healthy community,” said Lois Langer Thompson, Executive Director for Sno-Isle Libraries “Sno-Isle Libraries is working to create inspiring spaces while optimizing library funding so that we can continue to provide excellent library services to our communities and be good stewards of our finances. The collaborative efforts to secure these state grants is a testament to our state legislators for recognizing this and advocating for public funding of libraries.”
The largest allocation consists of $3.1 million in state grants to fund a permanent Lake Stevens Library. Sno-Isle Libraries will provide matching funds to these grants to fund design, engineering, architectural services, construction and community engagement for the future Lake Stevens Library. Sno-Isle Libraries is operating a pop-up library at Lundeen Park this summer and remodeling the city’s former police station on Grade Road into a temporary library that is scheduled to open this fall.
The city is also studying the feasibility of creating a new civic center campus that would include offices for city departments and the Lake Stevens Sewer District along with a new library building. The city and Sno-Isle Libraries own adjacent parcels on the northwest corner of Market Place and 99th Avenue NE. Learn more about the future Lake Stevens Library.
For the Mariner Community Campus/Library Project, $1.67 million was appropriated to fund project management, site selection, continued community engagement and architectural services. This Mariner grant will be combined with a $2.25 million state grant that was previously approved during the 2020 legislative session for an overall Mariner grant total of $3.92 million. A community needs assessment was completed in 2019 with support from residents and stakeholders. Learn more about the Mariner Community Campus.
With a $700,000 grant, Sno-Isle Libraries will provide matching funds to remodel and update the Langley Library, with improved accessibility throughout the library, in ways that honor and enhance the historic designation of the building.
The original Langley Library was dedicated in 1923 to the memory of those who served in World War I. There were two additions, in 1980 and 1993. Building use and community needs have changed over time, and Sno-Isle Libraries appreciates the City of Langley’s support and the state’s investment to undertake this complex library building improvement.
With a $250,000 grant for the Darrington Library, plus matching funds from Sno-Isle Libraries, the project will focus on increased accessibility, improved sustainability and resiliency, as well as general upgrades and updates. The project will start with a process of community engagement and input to help determine the details.
“We want to thank and acknowledge the State Legislature, especially Rep. Lovick, Sen. Liias and Rep. Tharinger, as well as the Washington Library Association, who understand the importance of this funding to improve library spaces and services,” said Sno-Isle Libraries Assistant Director of Strategic Relations Susan Hempstead.
The next step in the process will be for Sno-Isle Libraries to begin the work of entering grant contracts with the state this month and engaging the community over the next year on the capital work ahead, Hempstead said.