New Federal Way 320th Library will feature more space and windows | Construction starts in 2012

A bigger and better Federal Way 320th Library is in the works.

The facility at 848 S. 320th Street will be torn down and replaced with a new building that features an extra 4,000 square feet, study areas and plenty of windows. Opened in 1970, the present facility measures about 11,000 square feet. Construction is expected to begin in April 2012 and will last about one year.

The construction is expected to cost about $5 million and will be funded through a bond measure approved by voters in 2004. The $172 million capital bond included an $8.1 million expansion and renovation of the Federal Way Regional Library, which reopened in June 2010 at 34500 1st Ave. S.

The 320th Library’s demolition is a more economical approach due to the aging building and equipment, said Kay Johnson, facilities developer for King County Library System.

SRG Partnership shared a pair of plans at a public meeting Tuesday at the library. At least 35 people attended the presentation by SRG architects. The preliminary designs are intended to preserve all trees on the library’s property and maintain the number of parking spaces at 61. The new building’s roof would bring more natural light into the library, with insulated windows serving as walls that allow people outside the library to see the activity inside. The library will feature ceilings about 18 to 20 feet high in the book collection area. Meeting rooms will become part of the overall floor plan when not in use, as opposed to remaining separate rooms closed off from the rest of the library. The new building, when completed, will be located about 20 feet closer to South 320th Street.

King County Library System will host another meeting at a later date to solicit more public feedback on the library. Designs are expected to be finalized in February 2012, according to library officials, and building permits will be sought starting this June.

Several attendees at Tuesday’s public meeting shared their views and concerns on what the new 320th Library’s design should offer, including:

• More parking and outside lighting.

• Wider driveway for access to and from South 320th Street.

• “Please put the emphasis on books and don’t make computers the first thing you see” when entering the library, said Federal Way resident and library advocate Margaret Nelson.

• Easy accessibility to entrances for patrons who walk to the library.

• A space for Federal Way residents to share items and news about their community.

• More security cameras.

• Build the children’s area, but make sure to keep the noise in check. Also, don’t keep the children isolated from the rest of the library.

• Add a snack bar.

Federal Way residents are encouraged to email suggestions and feedback to Click here to view the site study plans for the 320th Library.

Check it out

For more information on the history of the 320th Library, read this 2004 report from the Federal Way Mirror.


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