Everett cuts $1.3 million from south library remodel project

Construction for the Evergreen Branch expansion is expected to start early next year.

EVERETT — After trimming costs by $1.3 million, the city is ready to move forward with the long-awaited expansion of the Evergreen branch of the Everett Public Library.

Early this year, the city delayed the remodel after the price tag for the project grew to more than $8 million. Construction was supposed to have begun last spring, with a grand reopening scheduled for early 2019.

Work is now anticipated to start at the beginning of next year and last about nine months. The pared-down project is expected to cost no more than $6.9 million, according to Meghan Pembroke, a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office.

The city already has received a bid at that price, which council members are likely to approve at their Nov. 28 meeting.

The remodel will enlarge the Evergreen Branch by about 65 percent, adding 5,580 square feet of space. Plans also show 30 additional parking spaces, and several new meeting and study rooms.

Reductions both big and small were made. The goal was to have as minimal an impact on the project, but provide a cost savings, said Jaimee Hudson, a spokeswoman for the city.

Larger cuts included the elimination of an enclosure to house the old bookmobile, Pegasus, and the Big Wheel reading nook for kids. The city also decided to pay for a new monument sign using donations, rather than public funds. Also deleted from the plans were glass partitions for a conference room.

The future of Pegasus is unknown, Hudson said.

The Evergreen Branch will close for the remodel, which is now expected to start in December.

The initial price tag, from around 2013, was estimated at $4 million. The Everett Public Library system includes two buildings, the main library downtown and the branch on Evergreen Way.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

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