Building on support from voters: 2004 capital bond progress | KCLS

  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:30pm
  • Opinion

Thirteen years ago, the King County Library System embarked on an ambitious, long-term capital improvement plan that has made KCLS one of the busiest and most beautiful library systems in the country.

When King County voters approved a $172 million capital bond in 2004, it was a resounding endorsement of libraries and their importance to the residents they serve. This strong show of support resulted in 16 new libraries, 11 expanded libraries, 14 renovated libraries and two parking lot expansions. In all, the footprint of our libraries has grown dramatically – almost 30 percent — providing more space for collections, programs and services and creating gathering places that are focal points in their communities.

Although two libraries in Renton (not funded by the bond) account for some of the additional square footage, the capital bond funded three new libraries in communities that had never had one before: Greenbridge Library completed in 2008; Newcastle Library completed in 2012; and Kent Panther Lake Library, which will be completed in 2018.

Voters can take pride in state-of-the-art facilities that reflect the unique characteristics of their communities. The bond measure also made possible the installation of new art work by notable, predominantly northwest artists. The King County Library System’s public art collection is highly regarded, offering visual and intellectual stimulation and adding a rich dimension to both the interior and exterior of our libraries.

The long-awaited opening of the Tukwila Library on April 29 marked a significant milestone for KCLS in 2017. Replacing the nearby Foster Library, the new 10,000-square-foot building anchors the City of Tukwila’s long-range plan for the area, which includes a central plaza, mixed-use development and other amenities. The nearly 1,000 people who turned out for the library’s opening day celebration reflected a vibrant community that is one of the most diverse in the nation.

KCLS is in the final phase of its capital improvement plan with only two projects remaining: an interior update of the Boulevard Park Library, and the new Kent Panther Lake Library, which will be the 50th library in the system.

Residents have supported the King County Library System for 75 years. Thank you for building a vital community asset that has served generations of library patrons. With your continued support, KCLS will proudly serve many more to come.

To learn more, please visit www.kcls.org/bond.

Stephen A. Smith is interim director of the King Country Library System.

More in Opinion

Inslee for president? | Shiers

Governor hasn’t officially said anything amid the rumors

Reporter newspaper group moving offices to Federal Way

Dear reader As 2018 comes to an end, your local media organization… Continue reading

Good economic news sprinkled with caution | Brunell

The good news is Washington’s revenues continue to grow and projections for… Continue reading

Guns, helmets and soju proposals queued up for 2019 session

In an annual rite, lawmakers are already putting bills in the hopper they want to debate next year.

Returning to take on the nonsense and frustration of social media

A few months ago I wrote a column explaining how I was… Continue reading

From early indications, Gov. Jay Inslee may be making a run at the presidency in 2020. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Is Inslee about to prep for presidential run?

Can a little known Thoroughbred from the Pacific Northwest capture the 2020… Continue reading

Cost, availability of health care poses a primary concern | Brunell

When Congress convenes next year, lawmakers must focus on the cost and… Continue reading

Reporter cartoon, Frank Shiers
From guns to climate, declaring election’s winners and losers

A surge in voter interest, a swelling in the ranks of Democratic… Continue reading

Cam-pains: Enough is enough

Don’t forget to vote by Tuesday, Nov. 6

Most Read