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Library News Release

Release Date: 05/10/2005

Douglass-Truth Branch closes a chapter: Doors to close for expansion project May 22, 2005

The Seattle Public Library's Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 E. Yesler Way, will close at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 22, so construction can begin to expand the popular branch.

During the closure, the Library will add staff to nearby branches to help meet the need for library service and the Capitol Hill Branch will open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays beginning May 29. Librarians also will continue community outreach to children and young adults and will make school visits in the Central District area.

Nearby branches are: Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S., 206-386-1908; Madrona-Sally Goldmark Branch, 1134 33rd Ave., 206-684-4705; Capitol Hill Branch, 425 Harvard Ave. E., 206-684-4715; and the Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., 206-684-4711. Patrons also may use the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 206-386-4636.

Patrons may return materials to any branch and may choose any branch as a pickup location for items placed on hold, interlibrary loan requests or purchase suggestions. If Douglass-Truth patrons don't select an alternate branch, their holds will be sent to the Columbia Branch.

Sunday, May 22 is the last day to pick up an item on hold, or check out or return materials at the Douglass-Truth Branch. The book drop stays open until 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 31.

Schacht/Aslani Architects designed the addition to be spacious and light, while still relating to the original branch built in 1914, which was designated a landmark by Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board. The Library worked with the landmarks board throughout the design process to preserve the architectural character of the building.

The branch will grow from its original 8,008 square feet to 16,493 square feet. It will include a larger, updated collection of books and materials, more room and better accessibility for the African-American Collection, a new children's area, more seating and computers, larger and more efficient staff work areas and upgraded electrical, mechanical and ventilation systems.

The branch also will include artwork by Auburn mixed-media artist Marita Dingus, who is creating sculpted pieces made from discarded materials for the expanded building. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs manages the Library's public art program.

This is the second time a closure date has been set for the branch. The first closure date in April was set aside after construction bids came in higher than expected.

At its April 26 meeting, The Seattle Public Library board of trustees directed the Library to proceed. Library staff members are gathering the information needed to award the construction contract to the apparent low bidder, Construction Enterprises & Contractors Inc.

The estimated construction cost for the project is $3,878,350. The overall project budget is $4,848,053; the Library Board said at its April 26 meeting that it intends to further amend the budget to cover additional costs.

After the branch closes, staff will prepare the books and other materials to be moved into storage. Construction work will begin after the building has been emptied. The expanded branch is projected to open in the second half of 2006 after the furniture, equipment, books and materials are moved back into the building.

The project is part of the $196.4 million "Libraries for All" bond measure that Seattle voters passed in 1998. The bond money, which can be used only for construction of libraries, is funding new and improved branches, in addition to the new Central Library.

To date, the Library has completed the new Central Library and the Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, Columbia, Delridge, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood, High Point, NewHolly, North East, Rainier Beach, Wallingford and West Seattle branches. The new Ballard Branch opens Saturday, May 14, and the new International District/Chinatown Branch opens Saturday, June 11. Many other branches are currently in the planning, design or construction phase.

The Seattle Public Library Foundation continues to raise funds from private sources to enhance the public bond commitment and keep pace with the demands of patrons for a high level of library service. Every dollar raised will ensure a level of excellence in the Library's facilities, collections, and programs that would not be possible through its tax-based support alone.

For more information about "Libraries for All" or the Foundation, visit the Library's Web site at www.spl.org.

For more information contact:

Andra Addison, communications director

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