SNOHOMISH — After years of planning, the Carnegie library on the outskirts of downtown Snohomish may be under reconstruction before the end of the year.
The city is now asking for contractor bids to renovate the century-old structure. One of the biggest changes will be to remove an annex that was attached in 1968.
The city is accepting offers until Oct. 10. After that, the Snohomish City Council will vote on a hire.
Construction could begin as soon as November, but most likely will get going after the winter holidays, city administrator Steve Schuller said. He also has been working as manager of the project.
The city already has designs of the finished building. The Seattle firm ARC Architects has been designing the project.
“We are really striving to make it as original as possible on the inside in every respect,” Schuller said.
The area occupied by the annex will be replaced with a lawn. Someday, the city plans to place a veterans memorial there. The building has three floors, and once renovations are done it will all be accessible for those with disabilities.
Community space will be available to rent. New heating and cooling systems will be installed.
Before, meeting rooms would get too hot in the summer. In the winter, electric bills could reach thousands of dollars each month.
“In the 1960s addition the heat would go straight out,” Schuller said.
The project is estimated to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million, with money coming from state grants and city funds.
The Carnegie was built at 105 Cedar Ave. in 1910, with a grant from Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic foundation. It was the city’s main library for almost a century, until those services relocated in 2003.
The old building closed in 2017, and the next year the Snohomish City Council voted to move forward with restoration.
In that time, the city has been working closely with the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation, a nonprofit run by a group of residents. Terry Lippincott is one of its board members.
“We were consulted every step of the way,” she said. “We felt really valued and respected as a partner.”
Even though the building has been closed for a couple of years, Lippincott has had the chance to see inside. While there were puddles in the annex caused by a leaky roof, most of the original building was still in good shape, she said.
Last year, the group received a 7-foot crystal chandelier that once hung inside the Everett Carnegie building. They plan to place it in the Snohomish space.
Once all restorations are complete, the foundation hopes to apply for historic preservation status for the building.