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Coupeville Library finds interim home

With a construction project looming to expand the Coupeville Public Library, Sno-Isle Library officials are finishing up a deal for a temporary home starting this summer.

Officials are putting the finishing touches on an agreement with the Au Sable Institute, located on Parker Road east of Coupeville.

“We feel we will be able to offer services in a place like this,” said Jeanne Crisp, director for technical services and facilities development for Sno-Isle Libraries.

Crisp wrote in an email that the Friends of the Coupeville Library started looking for an alternate location shortly after voters approved a $2.3 million bond in August 2008. Sites within Coupeville town limits were ruled out because of high costs or limited parking.

The Friends are renting a 580-square-foot building at the Au Sable Institute, which will allow the library to offer modified library services, including books and public Internet access. The Au Sable Institute would also provide space for library programs.

The site, which is the former pheasant farm, is close to Highway 20, has plenty of parking and has bus access.

Crisp said she didn’t know how much it was going to cost to rent the space at Au Sable. The Friends of the Coupeville Library are working out the agreement and it hasn’t been finalized yet. Library hours aren’t finalized yet either.

Construction on the project that will more than double the size of the current library is scheduled to begin in early July and wrap up by the end of March 2010.

It looks like the new space will be larger than expected. Designers are able to add an additional 600 square feet to the 2,800-square-foot addition.

Crisp said the original plans were made when construction was more expensive. However, since the construction industry slowed, it’s become cheaper to build.

One thing the bond dollars won’t pay for is the rental of the temporary library space. Crisp said the bond money is limited to construction projects.

She said it’s fortunate Coupeville will have a temporary location to serve residents. Communities where recent remodeling projects have taken place haven’t been so fortunate. In Darrington, library services were transferred to a nearby school, and that was only available during the summer. In Freeland, residents were referred to locations in Langley and Coupeville or were served by a bookmobile.

A date for the move hasn’t been set.

“We will stay in the current library as long as we can,” Crisp said.

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