Seismic Retrofit, Air-Conditioning And More Coming To The Green Lake Branch

In 2019, Seattle voters overwhelming passed The Seattle Public Library’s 2019 Library Levy, which helps us fund major maintenance work on our libraries to make them safer, more accessible, and better able to meet the evolving needs of the community. Among the major maintenance projects funded by the levy are seismic retrofits to our Green Lake, University and Columbia branches; three of our historic Carnegie libraries.

We are excited to share that we are preparing to begin the seismic retrofit of our Green Lake Branch, a historically landmarked building that opened in 1910. The LEED-certified project will also include accessibility improvements, a more energy efficient heating system, and the addition of air conditioning and interior improvements.

Construction is planned to begin in the fall, which means we need to close the Green Lake Branch near the end of the summer to prepare for construction. The exact dates have yet to be determined, but we will alert patrons as soon as we know.

We expect the branch to reopen early in the summer of 2023 after the work has been completed.

What to do if you’re a Green Lake Branch patron

In the weeks prior to closure, we will notify Green Lake Branch patrons by email that they should change their home branch – the library branch where their holds and pickups will be – by logging into their MySpl account and selecting My Settings > Account Preferences > Holds and Pickup Locations. If you haven’t done this prior to closure, your home branch will be changed automatically to the Greenwood Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N.). But you can change your home branch anytime.

Additional closure information

At least 30 days prior to the closure of the Green Lake Branch, patrons will no longer be able to reserve meeting rooms at the branch.

Patrons will not be able to return books at the Green Lake Branch during the closure. Nearby Library branches with book returns available are listed below.

The branch parking lot will be used for storage during the construction project and will not be available for parking.

Nearby Library branches

Project Scope

    • Seismic Retrofit: The Green Lake Branch will receive a comprehensive structural upgrade that will significantly increase the safety of the building during an earthquake.
    • Accessibility Improvements: The entire building will be made more accessible for patrons with a new ramp from the sidewalk, a new ADA parking stall, new restrooms and a new fully accessible, west side building entrance leading to a new elevator serving both floors.
    • HVAC System Replacement: The current gas-fired boiler system will be replaced with a new, highly efficient electric heat pump. The system will provide heating and air conditioning throughout the branch, allowing it to remain open and provide shelter for the community during hot summer days.
    • Interior Renovations: A range of interior improvements, including renovations to the auditorium, two new study rooms, remodeled staff work areas, a new circulation/service desk, new lighting and new furniture will allow more efficient and flexible use of building space.
    • Sustainability: The project is designed to meet the City of Seattle’s goals for environmentally responsible design and will be LEED Certified.

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