New Kenmore library project ready to move

The King County Library System received 22 bids for construction of a new Kenmore branch, with the winning bid coming in $1.2 million lower than the architect’s estimate, said Bill Ptacek, library system director.

In the past, Ptacek has reported estimated construction costs as $5.3 million.

Ptacek said the low bidder was Sierra Construction, a Seattle-area company that already is building a new library branch in Sammamish.

“They are very good,” said Ptacek, who seemed extremely pleased with the outcome of the bidding process.

Ptacek added the next highest bid was a mere $6,000 more than Sierra’s winning bid. To Ptacek, that means the low bid was not out of line.

As has been reported several times in the past, when the library project moves forward depends on the plans of the Kenmore branch of the U.S. Post Office. The post office currently sits in exactly the spot tabbed for the library at 6531 N.E. 181st St.

While the deal is not quite final, the post office is expected to move, basically across the street, to what was Kenmore City Hall on the outskirts of the Kenmore Village shopping plaza.

In order to help the library and keep a post office in the city, local officials have been pushing for the post office move for several months.

The former City Hall should stand vacant, at least for the moment. City officials relocated to the Schnitzelbank Building on Northeast Bothell Way, opening for business there on Oct. 20. The city eventually will move into the brand-new Kenmore City Hall being built on 68th Avenue Northeast and expected to be completed by spring of 2010.

As have city officials, Ptacek said he expects the post office to be out of its current location by November.

“As soon as they are out, we will begin demolition,” Ptacek said. He expects a groundbreaking on the library will happen two weeks later, basically sometime in December. Ptacek said a worst-case scenario has that groundbreaking happening early next year.

The new library should take about a year to complete, according to Ptacek.

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