Update: What to expect from Federal Way Regional Library construction

By JOHN SHELLER, Site manager, Federal Way Regional Library

Federal Way Regional Library expansion project begins March 16.

Federal Way will be gaining an additional 10,000 square feet of library thanks to a 2004 voter-approved measure that included expanding the Regional Library on First Way South.

Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC has been selected to begin the project March 16. The expanded library will grow closer to 342nd Street, and will feature a much-requested quiet space for reading and study; an expanded children’s area; expanded collections; a designated teen area (away from the quiet space); more meeting and project spaces; increased seating and table spaces; and more laptop compatible furniture. Mithun Architects designed the new space to include increased natural lighting and improved acoustic materials to increase library user comfort.

To accomplish this growth, existing exterior walls will be removed, making it necessary to close the building to public access during construction. To offset the inconvenience of the closure, The Commons at Federal Way shopping mall has provided temporary library accommodations in space B-2, near Doug Fox Travel, next to Torero’s Restaurant and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. This temporary library will be open mall hours, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.Monday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The site will feature a browsing collection of popular books, DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers; a photocopier and wireless internet access. Library staff will be on hand to help students with homework and patrons with job seeking and other information searching; as well as providing Internet access computers and assistance.

Library users will also be able to pick up holds (materials they have requested from other libraries) at the mall branch. Children’s story times will also be a feature at the mall location, as well as continuing at the 320th Street branch.

The 320th Street library has been augmented with additional staff, computers and work spaces to accommodate an increase in library users anticipated from the closure of Federal Way Regional Library. Beginning March 22, the 320th library will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays in addition to its current hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. 320th Library will also have additional shelving to house an anticipated increase in patron holds.

A third library location, in the Panther Lake Elementary School Library, will also be available for holds pickup during afternoon commuter hours, 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The Panther Lake site, at 34424 1st Avenue S., is anticipated to begin operation March 23.

For more information about the Federal Way Libraries, please contact Donna McMillen or John Sheller at (253) 838-3668. Information about current and future King County Library System construction projects is available at

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