LA CONNER — The La Conner Swinomish Regional Library is taking shape after a decade of planning.
Ground was broken on the new library earlier this month, and those involved say it’s exciting to see the library — planned to debut in early summer of 2022 — head toward its opening.
Library Board Treasurer Jim Airy said the project is finally at the “fun part.”
“The fun part is where the dream becomes the reality,” he said. “It feels like a tremendous breakthrough.”
The 5,000-square-foot library will more than double the size of the current facility, providing more space for the 5,000 users, who are residents of La Conner, Shelter Bay and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
Airy said the tribe has been a crucial partner in the project, not just financially but with a totem pole created specifically for the space by local artist and tribal member Kevin Paul, who said at the groundbreaking that it was a “day of history that’s going to be here for La Conner and Swinomish.”
Airy said, “Without the tribe realizing this could be their library too, and without their following up with financial contributions, we wouldn’t be doing this. The Swinomish tribe has played an enormous role ... I hope this library will be a model for other multicultural communities. A library can be a social, economic and educational hub for a community, especially a small community.”
La Conner Mayor Ramon Hayes said at the groundbreaking that the effort wouldn’t have happened without volunteers, local agencies, elected officials, the tribe and others teaming up.
The new library is slated to have special areas for children and teens, space for more technology such as computers and a meeting room.