A large crowd gathered to be among the first through the doors of the newly remodeled Newport Way Library, at 14250 SE Newport Way, on Saturday.
Several local dignitaries spoke to an early-morning crowd while Lolo the clown kept children entertained with balloon animals and swords, but the crowd chomped at the bit to get on to the good stuff--visiting the newly remodeled neighborhood library.
Speakers at the ceremony included King County Library System director Bill Ptacek kept the event child-friendly all around. He invited children to help cut the ribbon after thanking the community for its support of the project and Miller-Hull architects for preserving the character of the 1970s building while expanding it to 8,700 feet.
Rob Spitzer, a KCLS trustee, said the occasion was not as grand as the royal wedding, but marks a much more important event for the community.
The building was designed by Seattle architect Fred Bassetti and originally completed in 1970, said Ruth Coates of Miller-Hull.
The expanded library includes a new bright windowed reading porch, a cushioned window seat and new furniture in the children's area, and an enlarged public meeting area with a cyber bar for laptop users. The front door was moved and the entry covered, and the library now has a new cedar shake roof.
In additional to the cosmic upgrades, the library now has a well-insulated roof and walls, double-paned windows, and energy efficient light fixtures. More than 6,000 new books, magazines, movies, and CDs have been added, along with a self-check-in kiosk to ease material handling.
Local residents have been using a temporary facility at Factoria Square Mall, which is now closed permanently, while the library underwent renovation.