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Library Concludes Public Bid Process
HBHansen Construction selected for Books and Beyond Expansion Project
Groundbreaking Celebration, Saturday, July 16.

On May 13, the Orcas Island Library received three bids for the construction of a 5,900 square-foot expansion, ranging from a low bid of $2,767,000 to a high of $4,028,000, including a bid from an Orcas Island contractor. Local subcontractors were included in all bids.

As required by the state for a public works project, the library must select the lowest responsible bid, which was submitted by HBHansen Construction of Lynden WA. At a special meeting on Tues., May 17, the Board voted unanimously to contract the HBHansen Company to complete the long-desired expansion.

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HBHansen is a family-owned company established in 1992. Their commercial construction portfolio includes churches, businesses, and park improvements. The Library’s research confirms that ratings by clients are consistently excellent.

The total projected cost is $4,157,000, including required improvements to Rose Street and a contingency fund. “Soft” costs include architectural design, engineering, project management, permitting, and furnishings. The library has raised approximately $3,450,000 (83%) of the project goal, including generous support from local donors and the Friends of the Library, a substantial gift from the Bob and Phyllis Henigson Living Trust, and Washington State capital funding of $1.4 million, secured by State Senator Kevin Ranker. Plans for raising an additional $707,000 to complete the project include solicitation of major donations, a public campaign commencing in July, and grant applications.

The Orcas Island Library is consistently ranked in the top five libraries in the state per capita for user visits, checkouts, and collection size. Planning for an expansion began in the early 2000s as Library Boards responded to patron concern about lack of space for people, books, and technology. Current Trustees — Margaret Payne (President), Tom Fiscus, Regina Zwilling, Alexander Conrad and Martha Fuller — are excited and committed to an expansion that will more than double the public space in the library, including more room for children, young adults, and quiet reading, more work tables, one small-group and one large-group study/meeting room, additional computer access, two more restrooms, and lest we forget, more room for books! Construction will begin in July, with substantial completion expected by May, 2017.

Join the Board, Friends, staff, and volunteers in celebrating the Groundbreaking at a Community Picnic, Sat., July 16, from 11:30 to 2:00 p.m.

first friday book talks

First Friday Book Talks is an Orcas Island Library-sponsored reading group that meets in the community meeting room at noon on [as its name proclaims] the first Friday of each month.

Some of the books we will read this year:

  • The Children Act by Ian McEwan
  • The Theft of Memory by Jonathan Kozul
  • Go Set a Watchmanby Harper Lee
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack by Rebecca Skloot

Contact Holly or Martin at the Library if you're interested in joining this reading club.

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Historic Barns of the San Juan Islands

The barns of San Juan County are a visual testimony to the rich history of island farming. Some of the largest structures in the islands, they literally stand out in the landscape. They are treasured by local residents and visitors alike as monuments to the distinctive cultural landscape of the islands. This site will provide you with information about these barns and their island context.

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