Construction bidding is planned the first quarter of 2020 for an interior remodel of the main floor of the Central Library, featuring updates that will improve public spaces and incorporate operational efficiencies.
Thanks to capital investments supported by former Mayor Kelli Linville and the City Council in the 2019-2020 biennial budget, the Bellingham Public Library and the Public Works department are teaming up to remodel the main floor of the popular and well-used Central Library.
The design phase was completed in Fall 2019, with construction budgeted and scheduled in 2020. Approximately $1.6 million is budgeted for the project.
The planned work is in the building’s interior, on the nearly 20,000 square-foot main floor where adult and teen collections and services are located. Changes will include providing additional public spaces and a more open concept, incorporating new, more efficient book-handling technologies, and adding public restrooms – all geared to improve patrons’ use of this busy facility.
The Central Library downtown is the largest Bellingham library branch as well as the city library’s administrative and operations center, all housed in a 1950s-era building that saw its last major renovation in 1985. The downtown branch welcomed about 630,000 visits last year (not including branch library visitors), with Central Library patrons borrowing 1.2 million items and attending more than 1,000 programs.
The interior remodel of the main floor is outlined in an assessment of the Central Library completed in 2018 by RMC Architects. Library leaders expect this project to be the first of several sequential improvements to the existing building and site, including examining options to increase library space.
For more information about the project, please contact the Library Administration.