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Library News Release

Release Date: 07/08/2005

Southwest Branch closes a chapter: Doors expected to close for expansion project Aug. 6, 2005

Revised: 08/04/2005

Revised: 07/27/2005
Note: Bid opening date has been changed to Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005.

The Seattle Public Library's Southwest Branch, 9010 35th Ave. S.W., will close at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, to prepare for an expansion project that will better serve the community.


During the closure, the Library will add staff to nearby branches to help meet the need for library service. Librarians also will continue community outreach to children and young adults and will make school visits in the branch's service area.

The closest branches to the Southwest Branch are: the Delridge Branch, 5423 Delridge Way S.W., 733-9125; the High Point Branch, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., 684-7454; and the West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W., 684-7444.

Users may choose any other Library location as a pickup location for items placed on hold, interlibrary loan requests or purchase suggestions. Patrons may return library materials to any branch. If Southwest patrons don't select an alternate branch, their holds will be sent to the High Point Branch.

Saturday, Aug. 6 is the last day to pick up an item on hold, or check out or return materials at the Southwest Branch. The book drop, however, will stay open until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19.

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects designed the expansion to create a civic presence for the branch, which patrons said was easy to miss along busy 35th Avenue Southwest.

The 8,213-square-foot branch, which was built in 1961, will grow to 15,000 square feet. The expansion project features a new meeting room, new seats and shelves, an improved interior layout, more computers and study areas, better lighting, a modern mechanical system, and improved seismic safety. The project also includes an updated collection of books and materials.

The building also will include a series of bronze sculptures by Vancouver, B.C., artist Katherine Kerr; the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program. In addition, artist Morgan Brig of Seattle will create copper or bronze panels, thanks to additional funding from the Friends of the Southwest Branch.

The estimated construction cost for the project is between $3.66 million and $3.84 million. The overall project budget is $5,517,549, which includes the Library Board-approved additions of $13,445 in August 2004 for unanticipated project costs and $600,000 in November 2004 for additional construction costs.

After the branch closes, staff will prepare the books and other materials to be moved out of the building. The collection will be stored during construction.

Construction work will begin after the building has been emptied. The expanded branch is projected to open in the second half of 2006 after the furniture, equipment, books and materials are moved back into the building.

The expanded 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 new and improved branches, in addition to the new Central Library.

To date, the Library has completed the new Central Library and the Ballard, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, Columbia, Delridge, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood, High Point, International District/Chinatown, NewHolly, North East, Rainier Beach, Wallingford and West Seattle branches. Many other branches are currently in the planning, design or construction phase.

The Seattle Public Library Foundation continues to raise funds from private sources to enhance the public bond commitment and keep pace with the demands of patrons for a high level of library service. Every dollar raised will ensure a level of excellence in the Library's facilities, collections, and programs that would not be possible through its tax-based support alone.

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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