SEASIDE - Crossing the t's and dotting the i's are all that's left in the way of the new Seaside Public Library breaking ground.

Clatsop County Commissioners approved the sale of property to the city of Seaside May 23 and the Seaside City Council approved the sale Monday.

Boards and councils aside, there are also a number of library staff who were awaiting the end of the land negotiations.

"They said they were hoping to break ground in late spring," said Reita Fackerell, library director. "I'm hoping for early summer."

Fackerell says once the project gets started it should take 12 to 18 months for construction.

The footprint and design of the building have been settled upon, along with most of the internal details. All were discussed during building committee meetings, held every three weeks, that have included library staff, architect Richard Turi and other interested parties.

When the process began, the committee told Turi its members were looking for a "beachy" design. He, in turn, went out around Seaside and Gearhart looking for buildings that fit the description. The exterior agreed upon is a shingled building with white trim.

The footprint for the building is roughly triple the size of the current facility and includes expanded study areas for adults, a multi-purpose room that can be used by the public when the library is closed, a children's area with a puppet theater and chairs that parents can comfortably occupy, a young adult area, an international language room that will house books in various languages and a fireplace, among other amenities.

"After committee meetings the architect would come to the staff for input on work flow and design in the new library," said Fackerell.

What came out of those consultations were provisions for individual office spaces for library staff and computers for each office.

"We will have room and office space," said Fackerell. "Right now we have to wait for someone to leave to use their office."

With the larger concepts for the building in place, all that remains are the nuts and bolts choices - door handle colors, cedar shingles versus composite, kitchen appliance selection. Those choices are being slowly sifted through and will be ongoing as the library nears a more definite construction date.

Despite all the work being done, there is one piece missing from the puzzle.

"We're trying to raise money for new furnishings," said Fackerell. It is her hope that enough funds can be found to furnish the sitting and reading areas with new chairs and tables to make the new library more inviting.

Those interested in leaving a lasting addition to the library building itself can purchase tiles that will be hand-painted and placed in the lobby. Each tile is $100.


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