Library nearly ready to complete Knowledge

LITTLE BOSTON — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s House of Knowledge complex is one of the shining accomplishments of the administration and community members. When completed, it will showcase the tribe’s culture, history and future within its walls.

That day is almost here.

The final structure — the Little Boston Library, which will be home to all the knowledge the Kitsap Regional Library has to offer — will be completed in about one week. All that’s left after that is to install the shelves and move in the books, said tribal associate director Laurie Mattson.

“It’s really wonderful, we’re really excited,” she said. “We have a little extra leeway and said it would be done in September, just in case construction was slow. It is a bit earlier than what we thought.”

For a project now roaring along, it got off to a stuttering beginning, facing funding concerns, delayed start dates and redesigning. Construction on the House of Knowledge started in 2002 and by April 2006 — when the last fund raiser was held for the library — the staff was ready to see the fruits of their labor ripen.

The library’s $936,000 budget required some reductions to its overall size. It was originally planned to be 3,146 square feet, but the meeting rooms, the library itself and community space are still sizable within the 2,767-square-foot building.

“It might be turned over to our contractors soon,” said Little Boston Branch Manager Sue Jones. “Hopefully, we’re looking to start moving in on the 17th of August. We’ll probably be closed for a few days, but I’m not sure. There are so many unknowns right now.”

Jones has seen the library move once before in 1989 from it’s original A-frame building, and she said this process is just as exciting. She has been documenting the construction, as she did with the current building, by taking a new photograph every week.

“We are planning some kind of event that we will invite people who have been a part of this process to,” Mattson said. “It’s definitely on our mind.”

The tribe is also discussing new projects to begin planning with the completion of the House of Knowledge. The council has been discussing different ideas, and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Foundation board will meet next week, which could yield several suggestions, she said.

“It probably is finished a bit early,” Jones said. “We knew it was going to be fall originally, and it’s looking really good now. Most of the work left is on the interior, and they poured the sidewalks (Monday).”

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