By Judy Ross
The focus on library fundraising now moves away from the Friends of the Point Roberts Library (FOPRL) and over to the Point Roberts park and recreation district.
Following a meeting with the architect and all three parties (FOPRL, parks district, and Whatcom County Library Services), we now have revised cost estimates suggesting that we will need gap funding of about $150,000, which includes a contingency amount for a new septic system.
There are a variety of ways those funds can be raised and the parks board has scheduled a meeting on Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m. in the community center to discuss the issues. The commissioners are urging all those interested in the new library to attend this meeting, learn about the options and provide their views.
One option is building to lockup with currently available funds. With generous community support, FOPRL has raised 82 percent of the estimated cost of rebuilding the old fire hall for use as a library. The parks district has agreed to raise the remaining 18 percent, probably by putting a tax levy on the ballot but delaying construction until all the money is in hand.
The Friends would prefer that construction begin now, and get most of the work done while waiting for completion funding to become available. The funds we have raised should be enough to complete everything except interior finishing (partitions, cabinets, carpeting, painting etc).
Contractors refer to this as “building to lockup.” All the exterior would be finished at lockup (foundations, subfloors, walls, roofing, doors and windows and painting, plus electricity, plumbing and paving). At lockup, the building would look complete from the outside and the inside would be secure and weatherproof.
This approach would help maintain the momentum we have achieved through the fundraising process.
Waiting until after the fall election means that construction costs will continue to increase because of inflation. Building to lockup also sends a clear message that Point Roberts is committed to the completing the new library.
It takes a community to build a new library, so please come to the March 9 meeting and help shape the final steps to bring the new Point Roberts Community Library into being.