EVERETT — Mayor Ray Stephanson announced Wednesday that his administration wants money to design an expansion of the Evergreen Branch of the Everett Public Library.
If approved by the City Council, $600,000 from one of the city’s capital funds would be used to pay for design work on the expansion.
A construction project would then be put out to bid early next year, with completion expected later in the spring.
“That branch was opened 27 years ago when our population was less than 70,000, and now the population south of 41st Street is 85,000,” Stephanson said at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
At 8,600 square feet, the Evergreen Branch is about one-sixth the size of the main branch.
For the fast-growing south end of the city, the problems are especially felt by families with children.
In 2015, 9,475 children attended programs at the Evergreen Branch, compared with 7,446 kids at the main library.
This growth has been coming at a time when the city has struggled through the recent recession. Sunday hours at the Evergreen Branch were cut in 2014 as a cost-saving measure (but restored the following year), and several full-time positions had been lost over the preceding decade as retiring employees were not replaced.
The plan is to expand the library by 5,000 square feet, including new study and quiet rooms, a large meeting space and a larger children’s area. There also would be more restrooms and computers.
A city-owned duplex adjacent to the site will be demolished to make room for 36 more parking spaces.
The city’s information technology services department would relocate from that building to the expanded library.
A study conducted in 2013 by Everett architectural firm Dykeman estimated the total cost for the project would be about $5 million.
The City Council is expected to formally take up the funding proposal at its July 20 meeting.