WENATCHEE — Bids are expected to go out next week for the first phase of the Wenatchee Public Library’s year-long $2.5 million remodel.
The Friends of the Wenatchee Public Library on Thursday presented a check for $657,000 to the North Central Regional Library Board, the first installment of money raised to remodel the 60-year-old building at 310 Douglas St. The next installment will likely go to NCRL later this year. NCRL is managing the project.
“We are so happy to be able to present a check so the next stage of the project can start,” said Jeff Neher, chairman of the fundraising committee.
The Friends group collected nearly $1.5 million in donations and pledges from public and private donors for the projects and that effort is continuing, with another $40,000 to go to hit the goal.
The city of Wenatchee, which jointly owns the library building with NCRL, is contributing $100,000 to the remodel, and NCRL is kicking in just under $600,000.The two are also splitting some of the $1 million costs of upgrading the heating and air conditioning and removing the asbestos.
The first phase of the remodel will start with the asbestos abatement. Bids for the rest of the construction project will be advertised in June.
The remodel will add updated technology, improved lighting and shelving, additional community meeting space and more.
“The $657,000 amount was the bulk of the cash donations received by the Friends of the Library,” said Wenatchee Branch Manager Courtney Tiffany. “Pledges are still coming in this year, and those will be passed on as they come.”
In preparation for the start of the construction process, the library moved into its temporary quarters in the former Seafirst/Bank of America/Washington Federal bank building at 30 S. Wenatchee Ave.
“We opened at the temporary location on May 1 and people are slowly finding us,” Tiffany said. “We are getting a lot of traffic from people shopping on the Avenue, but I think a lot of people still don’t know where we are yet. We will be getting a sign put up soon and I think that will help a lot.”