SNOHOMISH — A renovation of the Carnegie Building may be one step closer to completion. The City Council approved a plan allowing the mayor to enter a contract with ARC Architects to create a final design plan and complete an overview of the estimated building costs. The contract will cost the city $276,692.
The project started in June 2017, but discussions of what to do with the building have gone on since 2005.
The two-story Carnegie Building was first constructed in 1910, and was used as a library until 2003. The new design hopes to restore the historic look of the building., The plans call to demolish the 1968 addition built onto the original site. The building
will also be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and feature a new park with a memorial to veterans. The inside space will be rented out for events like lectures, weddings and meetings.
Overall, the renovation should cost around $2.5 million. About half of the money will come from real estate excise taxes collected during everyday real estate transactions. Utility fees and the city’s general fund will cover 20 percent. In March of 2018, state Sen. Steve Hobbs secured $500,000 from the state. While the project is underfunded by $370,000, the project should be able to
pick up an additional state grant, said Denise Johns, one of the city’s project planners.
Residents gave mixed views on the venture.
Critic Morgan Davis told council members “you’re harming the low income people for a fancy wedding venue.” He said that the money could instead be used to fund infrastructure or other public needs.
Supporters say that the building has great cultural benefits for the community.
“What better way for students in a Washington State history class to learn then to visit our oldest public building and first public library,” said Candace Jarrett, a member of the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation.
A final plan should be submitted to the council for review by winter of 2019.
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