A few weeks ago I heard a talk about the Pierce County Library and it’s planning for the future. One of the comments that grabbed my attention was about the Lakewood Library.
I’ve visited this facility many times over the years. I’ve seen it grow and change and offer the latest of formats for a public library. The computers are always in demand now and meeting rooms are busy and space for people to sit down and do some research often is at a premium.
The speaker explained that in the future it will become necessary to enlarge the facility more and that will be difficult because of the size of the property. If the building is expanded the parking lot must go. Razing the building and starting all over again with underground parking is an option for the future, the plan indicated. However, that’s not an inexpensive option.
Well, as I drove through Lakewood Towne center the other day, I passed by the now-empty buildings that formerly housed a sporting goods store and a clothing store.
The two-story former clothing store building is located next to the movie theater and Barnes & Noble Books. I propose the Pierce County Library lease or purchase the building and convert it into the new library. I don’t know the building’s square footage, but I think it would be considerably more than the current building. There would be no need to find more property for parking because there is plenty available in the shopping center. The building is an open design so remodeling it for a library should be fairly simple and probably relatively inexpensive.
And, the old property could be sold to someone with funds used to reduce the debt of buying acquiring the new facility.
Moving the library into this facility would provide several positives: it would give the library adequate space for a long, long time at what I think would probably be a reasonable cost. And, it would bring additional people into what has become Lakewood’s core business and economic center.