Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Prosser branch, under renovation since January, will reopen to the public May 2.
And it may end up costing more than initially estimated, though library officials say the project will stay under budget.
The renovation, which along with new library materials, furniture and art, could end up costing $425,000, according to a library district news release.
Library officials said last year that the project would cost $350,000, and there had been cost savings with some of the contracts. Library spokesman Davin Diaz said the initial estimate likely included construction expenses, not items such as new books and furniture. Not all costs have been tallied and the latest numbers on the project are just estimates.
“We fully anticipate being under budget when all is said and done,” he said.
The project is the latest to be completed by the district as it continues to improve some of its oldest branches.
“I firmly believe the Mid-Columbia hasn’t seen a library like this,” said Diaz.
The library district has dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars to branch renovations in recent years, including a $140,000 remodel of the downtown Pasco branch that finished in early 2014.
The Prosser branch, a 6,000-square-foot facility at 902 Seventh St. in downtown Prosser, hasn’t changed much from when it opened in 1972, library officials have said, making it due for improvements. Library services were temporarily moved to a storefront in the northwest part of town during the renovation.
New carpet, lighting, bathroom fixtures and paint accompanied the removal of walls and construction of a new entryway for the Prosser building. New furniture and shelving was brought in to hold the library’s collection and $27,000 worth of new materials.
A photo mural showcasing Mid-Columbia culture and history is among the new custom artwork for the space. Other art includes furniture modeled after hot air balloons in the children’s area. Diaz said the branch combines the magical feel of the new west Pasco branch with the modernity of the renovated downtown Pasco facility.
Library district officials secured a construction contract for the bulk of the renovation for $80,000 less than expected. There were additional expenses, such as the extension of the branch’s temporary location and change orders on everything from paint to wiring.
Diaz said the project’s cost will not strain the library district and that other planned renovations at other branches, including Connell and Othello, will proceed when it will be least disruptive to patrons.
“The money we’re expending (in Prosser) shouldn’t affect the other projects,” Diaz said.