Pasco library to close for face-lift

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldNovember 26, 2013 

Pasco branch library.jpg

The Pasco branch of Mid-Columbia Libraries.

BOB BRAWDY — Tri-City Herald

Today is the last day the central Pasco branch of the Mid-Columbia Libraries will be open until the new year.

A $140,000 renovation is planned for the 13,000-square-foot building at 1320 W. Hopkins St.

And the city of Pasco, which owns the building, also is kicking in $15,000 for a new outside sign and exterior paint job.

The library will be getting new metal shelves, furniture and additional electrical outlets to plug in electronic devices. The library is scheduled to reopen Jan. 2.

Kyle Cox, Mid-Columbia Libraries executive director, said even though there are limitations to what the library district can do at the building built in the 1960s, it will be able to make significant improvements. The last upgrade was in 2009.

"We can't move support posts and beams, we just can't, but it is going to be more comfortable," he said.

Furniture will be replaced in the children's and adult areas. The wooden book shelves will be replaced. And the interior will be painted, giving it a consistent look throughout.

The central Pasco branch is known for its large selection of Spanish language books, as well as bilingual storytime for children, said Jennifer Aalgaard, spokeswoman for Mid-Columbia Libraries.

It also is the fourth busiest of Mid-Columbia's 12 fixed branches.

Some of the central library's 11 staff members will work at the west Pasco branch during the closure, while others will do "behind the scenes" work at the central library, Aalgaard said.

The west Pasco branch will extend its hours to try to make up for the closure.

Cox said Mid-Columbia Libraries' bookmobile also will make regular visits.

The renovation means the library district will have invested more than $600,000 this year in Pasco, said Cox.

The district spent more than $500,000 on new books and furnishing the new west Pasco branch, which opened in April. The new library is leased from a developer.

The remodel is the first of several planned for Mid-Columbia Libraries.

Next up will be a complete gutting and remodel of the Prosser library in 2014.

The Connell and Othello libraries also will see improvements next year. The Union Street and Keewaydin Park branches in Kennewick are expected to be remodeled in 2015.

The West Pasco Branch, at 7525 Wrigley Dr., hours in December are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

The bookmobile will be at the Hopkins Street site 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays in December.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543;; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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