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February 20, 2018

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Library News Release

Release Date: 12/06/2006

Library Board to discuss recommendation on Sand Point 'Opportunity Fund Project' Dec. 8 and Dec. 20

The Seattle Public Library board of trustees intend to discuss a recommendation to the Seattle City Council to not proceed with building a branch library in Sand Point at its December Operations Committee and Library Board meetings. The Operations Committee will meet at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Level 11, Board Room and the five-member board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at the Central Library, Level 4.

Building a new branch library in Sand Point was not part of the original 1998 voter-approved "Libraries for All" building program. To address new neighborhood needs as they arose over the next decade, the $196.4 million bond measure for new and improved libraries included a $6 million "Opportunity Fund." In April 2000, Citizens for a Library at Sand Point proposed using Opportunity Fund money for a full-service library in Magnuson Park.

The proposal was recommended by the Citizen Implementation Review Panel overseeing the bond measure, and reviewed by the Library Board. The City Council approved $1.4 million in Opportunity Funds for the project.

With branch capacity more than doubling systemwide through Libraries for All, however, the Library Board suggested waiting until all construction projects had been completed to evaluate service demand. The Libraries for All program is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2007.

With many north end projects already successfully completed, the board is confident that Sand Point residents have many strong options for nearby service and the addition of another new branch is not needed. The capacity for library service in North Seattle has significantly increased with the new 10,000-square-foot Northgate Branch, the new 5,652-square-foot Montlake Branch, the doubling in size of the North East Branch and the two-thirds larger Lake City Branch.

The Citizens Implementation Review Panel voted 11-1 on Tuesday, Dec. 5 to support the Library Board's intended recommendation to the City Council to not proceed with a Sand Point Branch.

At a community meeting in March, it was clear that $1.4 million budgeted for the project was not enough to buy property or renovate an existing building in Magnuson. Park. There was concern too, that Initiative 42 restricted the conversion of park land to another use unless it could be replaced in kind.

If the City Council approves the Library Board's intended recommendation, the $1.4 million could be used for other Opportunity Fund projects.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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