For years, the library has realized that it needs to do something to make the building ADA accessible. In 2011, we started working with David Strauss, a principal architect with SHKS Architects and a board member of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, to discuss solutions. David presented us with three possibilities which included installing a ramp, a small lift or a larger elevator. It was decided that a ramp wasn't a good solution because to achieve the correct slope, the ramp would be so long that it would have to wrap around at least two sides of the building which would have a substantial –and negative—visual impact on our historic building. Instead, we decided to focus our attention on a lift or elevator and started searching for funding sources to cover the estimated costs.
In the spring of 2014, we submitted a proposal to the Washington State Historical Society for a Heritage Capital Projects Fund grant to fund an elevator and ADA-compliant restroom. Out of 39 applications that were submitted for this competitive grant, ours was ranked #7. Funding for this matching grant must be set aside in the governor's biennial budget, so we had to wait over a year (with fingers crossed the entire time!) to find out if we would be awarded the grant.
In July 2015, we found out that we received this grant. The State Historical Society will provide $138,000 and we are expected to provide $280,950. We created a capital projects fund that will go toward some of those costs, but public donations are always welcome and appreciated.
At this time, an RFQ for architectural services has been published and proposals are being evaluated by a library board committee. We hope to have the extent of the project completed by fall 2016.
If you'd like to view the pre-design drawings, have any questions, or would like to make a donation to this project, contact Library Director Kylie Fullmer.
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