Newest library blazing through construction

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

LITTLE BOSTON — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is coming down the last leg of a long journey as the House of Knowledge campus continues to move forward smoothly. The Little Boston Library — the final building to be added by the tribe at the complex — is ahead of schedule as the construction process heads toward the finish line.

Originally scheduled to be completed in late August or early September, tribal planning director Joe Sparr said it appears work will wrap up in late July or early August.

“They are getting ready to put the siding on and put the windows in,” he said. “The heating and ventilation is mostly done, as well as the wiring. The heating, ventilation, wiring and plumbing have been roughly done.”

The roof is finished, and crews are now taking aim at installing drywall and wiring the building. Utilities have been hooked up, and the fire sprinkler system is almost completed, Sparr said. The checklist of finished projects is growing longer, and that’s welcomed news to the tribe and especially Little Boston library branch manager Sue Jones.

“We’ll be putting in an order for new shelving soon,” she said. “I looked through some carpet samples last week and picked one that will go nicely with the wood look of the building.”

The Kitsap Regional Library system will install shelves, desks, counters and carpeting in the new building, Sparr said, while the tribe will place several pieces of local tribal artwork throughout it. The library was given a donation that will pay for almost all of the necessities to get the new branch running, Jones said.

Once it’s all done, a party will definitely be in order, said Tribal Chairman Ron Charles.

“We will be having something to celebrate the completion of the whole thing,” he said. The ceremony will more than likely take place toward the end of the summer.

This is the third building for the library, the first was built in 1974, and the current structure was built in 1989. Jones helped with the move in 1989, and will help with this one as well. Before the library was grounded in Little Boston, a book mobile served residents in the 1950s.

The new library will boast 2,767 square feet when completed, a vast improvement over the 1,500 square feet now available. Initially, there were problems with the proposed size of the building in relation to the budget. As a result, 400 square feet were cut from the plans and the $936,000 project was able to start construction a little later than planned.

“Things are going really well,” said tribal associate director Laurie Mattson. “Construction is a little ahead of schedule. It’s gone really well.”

“The main room is one big, huge room with windows all along the southeast wall,” Sparr said. “This building is going to be really nice when it’s finished.”

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