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Library News Release

Release Date: 09/30/2003

Greenwood Branch closes a chapter: Doors close for construction Nov. 1, 2003

The Seattle Public Library's Greenwood Branch, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N., will shut its doors at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, so construction can begin on a larger branch at the same location to better serve the community.

The Library intends to add staff to the Ballard, Broadview, Fremont and University branches and to the Northgate Temporary Service Site to help meet the need for library service during the closure. Librarians also will continue community outreach to children and young adults and will make school visits in the Greenwood area.

Users may choose any other location of The Seattle Public Library as a pickup location for items placed on hold, interlibrary loan requests or purchase suggestions. Library materials may be returned to any branch.

The closest branches to the Greenwood Branch are the Ballard Branch, 5711 24th Ave. N.W., 206-684-4089; the Broadview Branch, 12755 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-684-7519; the Fremont Branch, 731 N. 35th St., 206-684-4084; the University Branch, 5009 Roosevelt Way N.E., 206-684-4063; and the Northgate Temporary Service Site, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E., 206-386-1980.

The new 15,000-square-foot Greenwood Branch will replace the existing 7,094-square-foot branch, which opened in 1954. The new $7,129,777 branch is projected to open in late 2004. The new branch will have an improved collection capacity of 66,700 books and materials, a meeting room, upgraded computer work stations and instructional spaces, large homework program areas for children and teens, and more parking.

Architects at Buffalo Design designed the building, creating a handsome branch that will both complement Greenwood's architecture and stand out as a civic presence. A clerestory that runs nearly the length of the building will allow north light to enter the branch and windows along the east wall will provide wide views of the Cascade Mountains. A courtyard at the corner of Greenwood Avenue North and North 81st Street will provide a welcoming space next to the main entrance of the building.

The new branch also will include artwork by Portland artist Fernanda D'Agostino, who will layer complex, hand-colored images and text in interior glass windows inside the branch. Portland artist Valerie Otani also is working on the project.

After the Greenwood Branch closes, staff will prepare the books and other materials to be moved out of the building.

Construction work is expected to begin late this year, after the Library hires a general contractor, receives approval of a building permit and auctions a residence built in 1906 that is located east of the branch. The Library bought the residence in 2001 to expand the site for the larger new branch. The old branch will be demolished.

Construction is expected to last 10 months; the new branch is projected to open in late 2004 after the equipment, books and materials are moved back into the building.

The new branch is part of the $196.4 million "Libraries for All" bond measure that Seattle voters passed in 1998. The bond money, which can be used only for construction of libraries, is funding a new central library and new and improved branches.

To date, the Library has completed the Capitol Hill, Delridge, NewHolly and Wallingford branches. The Central Library and the Beacon Hill, Columbia, Green Lake, Greenwood, High Point, North East, Rainier Beach and West Seattle branches are currently in the construction phase and planning and design is under way for many other branches.

The Seattle Public Library Foundation is in the midst of a "Campaign for Seattle's Public Libraries" with the goal of raising $77.5 million from private sources to enhance the public bond commitment. Every dollar raised will ensure the library system reflects our community's needs in buildings, books, technology and people, long into the future. For more information about "Libraries for All" or the Foundation, visit the Library's Web site at www.spl.org.

For more information contact:

Caroline Young Ullmann, assistant communications director


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