When the Shute Library closed its doors early in August of 2013, the plan was for construction to begin shortly thereafter, with a 10-12 month construction schedule.
Unfortunately, those plans did not proceed precisely as expected, with a few delays and surprises halting the project until December, and construction of the new addition and entrance at the library not begun in earnest until March of this year.
Despite those delays, library and city officials now expect the library renovation and construction to be completed in mid- to late November, just about eight months after excavation for the new foundation and construction actually began.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria and his staff revealed this week that a recent progress report on the renovation and reconstruction project has city officials planning a late 2014 opening and rededication.
“The Shute has always been an important part of our community,” said Mayor DeMaria in a statement. “Not only is it a beautiful and historic building, but it also serves that side of our city for library needs. The upgrade and expansion of the Shute Library is an important project for the city.”
As construction has progressed on the building, Library Director Deb Abrams and the staff have done their best to keep library patrons apprised of milestones with a construction blog about the project at www.Shutelibrary.org. Residents who are curious about the new expansion or the on-going renovations can log on to the website and see pictures and get news about the project.
Additionally, although the project is part of the City of Everett’s Capital Improvement Plan, with state and local funding, the city is also accepting donations to help fund some of the costs of the project.
The scope of the project includes a complete a complete overhaul and expansion of the building, with foundation and masonry as well as new windows, new HVAC systems, energy efficiency upgrades, newly designed interior space and exterior landscaping. The building will also be completely accessible for persons with disabilities, and compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Finally, an old Stained glass arched window, which in years past had been featured over the original main entrance to the Shute was found during demolition of the building. That stained glass window has been restored and will once again be placed above the original main door.
However, not all of the library renovations are physical improvements to the building. The project also includes an expansion of the library collection, both print and electronic media, with the addition of new media and computer technology as well.
Abrams also pointed out that the sidewalk in front of the building will be closed through the construction period and that access to Gledhill Avenue will continue to be restricted to residents.