Community advisory committee discusses provision of library services in Lakewood – The Suburban Times

Pierce County Library System press release.

PIERCE COUNTY, Washington – The Lakewood Library Building Community Advisory Committee ([email protected]) will hold its third of five meetings on Friday, September 16, 1-3 p.m..

Join us in person at the Pierce County Library System Administration Center, 3005 112th St. E., Tacoma or participate via Zoom: Meeting ID: 826 7121 8820 or call: 253 215 8782 and enter Meeting ID: 826 7121 8820.

At the meeting, the volunteer committee will review community feedback on library services and buildings in downtown Lakewood and the Tillicum neighborhood. In the past month, more than 2,000 people responded to a survey about library services. Additionally, community members provided feedback at public events, such as the Lakewood Farmers Market, and community leaders provided feedback through interviews.

Also available for the meeting, the Pierce County Library will provide information on the costs of building and operating public libraries and the Town of Lakewood will provide information on the town’s senior center as an opportunity to co-locate the services with a future Lakewood Library. In addition, the volunteer committee will seek to identify how it will evaluate options to make a recommendation on how best to provide quality library services in Lakewood.

The Community Advisory Committee is responsible for the following:

  • Understanding public feedback from 2019.
  • Evaluate public feedback gathered this summer in surveys, interviews and at public events.
  • Examination of major construction needs.
  • Provide advice to the library system on how best to provide library services in Lakewood.

For the Lakewood Library, the committee should recommend:

  • Keep the current installation.
  • Create a new library on a different site.
  • Build a new library on the current site.
  • Renovate another building elsewhere in the community.

For the Tillicum Library, the committee should recommend:

  • Keep the current installation.
  • Create a new library on a different site.

In June, the library system closed Lakewood Library because it was in critical condition. Since then, the library system has continued to serve the community with the nearby Tillicum Pierce County Library and other libraries in the district, as well as hosting events and classes throughout the Lakewood community. At the same time, the library system has endeavored to reserve space for temporary library services.

Brink & Sadler

In late 2021, the architects conducted a building condition assessment and concluded that the Lakewood Library needed between $10 million and $15 million in repairs to improve security and access, including replacing the roof, elevator, HVAC and plumbing system, repairing damage throughout the building from the leaky roof, upgrading windows and doors, and making many other needed improvements. Appraisers estimated the value of the current building at $1.5 million.

The committee is expected to provide its recommendation to the library board and Lakewood City Council in the fall of 2022. The board will determine next steps.

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