Submitted by the San Juan Island Library District
The San Juan Island Library District announced on Sept. 30 that it has entered an agreement with the owners of the former Life Care Center at 660 Spring St., to purchase the property for a future library building site.
The district has been working on alternative locations for a library for several years given the limitations of the current Guard Street site along with rising maintenance costs. In June of 2018, the Board of Trustees voted to proceed with a project to select a building site and create a plan to fund its purchase and construction. In 2018 and 2019, the district conducted feasibility studies and hosted town hall meetings to understand the community’s needs around space, parking, meeting rooms, and other factors that would influence site selection. After detailed site analysis and preliminary engineering and construction review, the 660 Spring St. property was selected as the best location for a future San Juan Island Library.
The pandemic interrupted plans to place a bond on the ballot for voter approval this year, but the district has no long-term debt and has the ability to secure financing for immediate acquisition of the property. The library’s plan is to acquire the property and then plan for a voter-approved bond to fund construction in 2022 while working with the community on plans for the new facility and conducting private fundraising. As the planning for the library’s new home gets fully underway, library staff looks forward to community engagement in the process as the community envisions the island’s new library together!
For more information, visit the library building project website at https://www.sjlib.org/library-building-project/.