Learn more about the Lakewood Library Buildings Community Advisory Committee
Through the years, the Pierce County Library System has taken many steps to repair and maintain the Library’s buildings, including Lakewood and Tillicum Pierce County Libraries, which are both now in critical condition.
- Engineers now project the Lakewood Library building needs approximately $22 million in repairs and replacements, to bring the 59-year-old building up to code for safety with seismic engineering and fire, as well as systems such as mechanical, electrical and plumbing. This September 2022 structural engineering report is more in-depth than a 2021 architects’ building condition assessment that estimated the current building required $10 million-$15 million in repairs for improved safety and access, including replacing the roof, HVAC and plumbing.
- In late 2021, building inspectors examined the now 38-year-old Tillicum Library, and they found significant amounts of water seeping into the building at both the roof and the siding. They also found dilapidated insulation, windows doors and building systems. Overall, they concluded the building is in need of a substantial overhaul.
In the spring of 2022, the Pierce County Library System and the City of Lakewood appointed an Advisory Committee to help determine next steps to best serve residents. The Committee provided the Library System’s Board of Trustees and the Lakewood City Council with its recommendation Nov. 17, 2022 at a joint meeting.
For the Lakewood Library, the community advisory committee’s preference is to keep the library at the same location, building a new library on the current site. If that is not possible, the committee recommends building a new library in an equally accessible location.
For the Tillicum Library, the committee recommended renovating the existing building or rebuilding on the existing site if the property can be acquired. If not, it recommends pursuing a location near the existing library, and if that is not financially or practically feasible, then the committee recommended building on a parcel currently owned by the City.
The Library Board of Trustees will determine next steps.
COMMUNITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Pierce County Library System and the City of Lakewood formed this committee to advise on how the City and Library System can provide quality services in a safe, welcoming space for Lakewood and Tillicum residents. Committee members were responsible for:
- Reviewing existing community input and additional public engagement efforts.
- Reviewing facility history and current conditions.
- Developing an evaluative framework for considering facility options.
- Making recommendations to Lakewood City Council and the Library System’s Board of Trustees Nov. 17, 2022.
The Library System and the City of Lakewood appreciate the work of the volunteer committee.
David Anderson – Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association, President
Sherwanda Beck-Atkinson – JBLM, Literacy Council, Volunteer
Amelia Escobedo – JBLM, Lakewood City Council candidate in 2021
Bob Estrada – Friends of the Lakewood Library, President
Ron Irwin – Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, Past President
Lianna Olds – Washington Nonprofits, Deputy Director
Josette Parker – Clinical Social Worker; Lakewood Senior Center, Volunteer
Darwin Peters II – Owner of In Focus Productions; Clover Park School District, Committee member
Ginny Rawlings – Retired nutritionist; Friends of Lakewood Library, Board member
Tim Rhee – Pierce County Library Foundation Board of Directors
Chelsey Tschosik – Healing Harbor PLLC, Child and Family Therapist
Bob Warfield – Retired Army; Lakewood United, Volunteer
Mary Getchell, Pierce County Library System, Marketing and Communications Director
Becky Newton, City of Lakewood, Economic Development Manager