WCLS board of trustees proposes to renovate Vogt home for

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By Ian Haupt

Due to the fact Birch Bay voters two times showed their opposition to fund an estimated $6.5 million library undertaking, Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) has been seeking for approaches to make use of its $2 million of condition funding to offer a lot more library companies to the place. Last month, the WCLS board of trustees decided an interior remodel of the Vogt family household as the finest phase ahead.
In a June 21 common board meeting, WCLS deputy director Michael Cox introduced renovation ideas for the Vogt family home to be manufactured into a library branch. The options, estimated to value $2.6 million, present a very first-floor renovation with comprehensive site enhancements that contain added parking areas, a ebook return, signage and an ADA accessible entrance. While there will be no exterior variations to the homestead, the options call for demolishing present outbuildings guiding the house to make place for extra parking, in accordance to the meeting files.
During the assembly, the board submitted a ask for to the condition section of commerce for a undertaking scope alter of the Library Capital Services Job grant. If accepted, WCLS can employ the virtually $2 million grant, which expires June 2023, for design prices.
Initial ideas for the proposed Birch Bay Neighborhood Vogt Library involved developing a $6.5 million new constructing at the internet site. To do so, WCLS prepared to use the $2 million, donations and set up a taxing district for the remaining $4 million. But voters shot it down in two narrow 60 % supermajority votes.
Just after the votes failed, Gary and Cindy Lou Vogt, who offered the residence to WCLS, wrote a letter in The Northern Light-weight that said it was their knowing the authentic home would be made use of as the library. WCLS govt director Christine Perkins responded in a letter stating that in the sale agreement WCLS promised, to the extent fairly possible, to include the current property on the residence or its layout things into the library setting up.
WCLS has given that taken the home’s “historic and sentimental value” into account, in accordance to assembly minutes. WCLS workers and trustees viewed as building a short term modular structure, or transportable constructing, at the site. Nevertheless, Cox reported for the duration of the meeting he experienced minor faith a scope adjust for these a undertaking would be permitted, and Perkins confirmed the point out funding will have to go towards a everlasting resolution.
Cox claimed through the assembly WCLS can provide comprehensive library companies at a more compact scope than was originally prepared through a transform of the current 1,500-square-foot to start with flooring.
In a cellular phone job interview, Cox pressured the great importance of the software approval.
“We get 1 chance at a scope change project,” he said. “I really do not believe we are going to have a different chance to use these resources.”
Cox reported he does not know how very long the application system will take. He said a division of commerce consultant advised him it could take any place from 3 weeks to eight months.
Volunteer grassroots-group Close friends of Birch Bay Library (FOBBL) has lifted more than $200,000 for the library job through several years of local community occasions and donor contributions. State associates served FOBBL protected the $2 million grant, which was dependent on FOBBL elevating the remaining quantity. If the request is authorised, WCLS will have a community style advancement course of action, where by Cox will fulfill with Whatcom County federal government and the Birch Bay group to get the job done out the specifics of the renovation. He mentioned at that stage WCLS will have a improved thought of how substantially the project will charge in total.
FOBBL president Dianne Marrs-Smith, who is also Lynden’s library manager, said the team is hunting ahead to possessing prolonged library solutions available for the Birch Bay local community. “We experience really excellent about it,” she claimed.

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