It’s amazing what people notice when something changes.
When the Freeland Library closed for a few weeks on Dec. 16, 2018, work began almost immediately to replace the carpet, add new furniture and rearrange the way materials are displayed.
So what was one of the first reactions during the grand reopening event on Jan. 8?
“The ceiling is gorgeous!” said one of the early attendees. “Did you re-do it?”
Well, no, but the ceiling is gorgeous.
Consensus comments seemed to be that the entire library feels more spacious, open and inviting, even though it is the same square-footage. An addition to the library is a “laptop bar,” much like those found in coffee shops, looking out over the library’s landscaping. Library staff members say they will listen to comments from customers and continue to tweak the layout as needed.
While the doors officially reopened on Jan. 2, the Jan. 8 event included Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson, Library Manager Betsy Arand at the refreshments table, other library-district officials and staff members, music by the Dewey Decibels (which includes library staff) and plenty of customers.
As a public facility, the Freeland Library gets hundreds of visits a day. That’s a lot of wear and tear on flooring, fixtures, furnishings and even the paint on the walls.
Termed a “refresh,” the project approach helps keep down costs by consolidating and coordinating a number of contractors and work items. While the library was closed for two weeks, customers saw less disruption than if the work has been scheduled during a series of open or closed hours.
Still to come is a new projection system for the library’s meeting room. The separate non-profit Friends of the Freeland Library group is funding the new equipment. That work is scheduled to take place in late January.
The project was coordinated by Sno-Isle Libraries Facilities Manager Brian Rush and District Manager Becky Bolte. Contractors providing services include: Timeless Design, general contractor; Arlington Unique Interiors, flooring removal and installation; Seahurst, electrical and cabling; Sound Maintenance Services, janitorial and cleanup; Visionary Office furniture, furniture; and Workpointe, furniture. Painting for the project was done by Sno-Isle Libraries staff members.