Pierce County Library System announcement.
To serve the community better, the Pierce County Library System is closing the Lakewood Pierce County Library, located at 6300 Wildaire Road S.W., in early June, to prepare for service in a short-term location planned to open in late 2022.
Based upon recent architects’ assessment of the building condition and an engineers’ review of the roof, the 59-year-old Lakewood Pierce County Library is in critical condition.
“Certainly, this is a difficult decision, in which we weighed balancing safe, quality service to the public and for staff with responsibly managing taxpayers’ investment in the Library System,” said Pierce County Library Deputy Director Melinda Chesbro. “We know the situation at the Lakewood Library is urgent and the timing is right to move to a short-term location.”
Closing the building will give staff time to move books and materials, computers and equipment, as well as furniture for use in the short-term location. The Library System is looking for space near the Lakewood Library in Lakewood Towne Center, for a short-term location, which may expand to a temporary location.
In all, architects determined the current building requires rough estimates of $10 million to $15 million in repairs for improved safety and access. This assessment provided needed repairs and replacements for urgent roof and safety issues as well as long-term investments needed within the next 5-7 years. Safety and access improvements include replacing the roof and repairing damages throughout the building from the leaking roof; replacing the elevator, heating and cooling system, and plumbing system; and upgrading windows and doors.
The costs for repairs and replacements outweigh the value of the building. At this time, the Library System does not plan to invest further in the current building and determined further investments are cost prohibitive. The Library System will await a recommendation from a community advisory committee and a decision by the Board of Trustees before investing further.
The Library System and the City of Lakewood are forming a community advisory committee to understand public input from recent years, review the significant building needs, and provide advice to the Library System about how it could best provide library services for Lakewood and the Tillicum neighborhood. The committee will review and assess information and make a recommendation to the Pierce County Library’s Board of Trustees in fall 2022, on how to provide library service in Lakewood.
While the Pierce County Library pauses and stops investing in the Lakewood Library, it will continue serving the community and determine a better long-term solution to invest in library service for Lakewood residents.
Until the Lakewood Library opens in a short-term location, the Library System encourages residents to visit other Pierce County Libraries, including nearby Steilacoom Pierce County Library at 2950 Steilacoom Blvd. and University Place Pierce County Library at 3609 Market Place W., Suite 100.
In the coming months, the Library System will provide more information about the short-term location and its plans for limited service slated to open later this year.