West Pasco to get library with drive-through service window

West Pasco's residents can expect to have a library on their side of town by next fall.

The Mid-Columbia Libraries board voted this week to build a 5,000-square-foot branch at the corner of road 76 and Wrigley Drive, next to the Lourdes West Pasco Clinic.

Gisi Investment Services will build and own the building, as well as the land, said Kyle Cox, interim director for MCL.

Dennis Gisi's proposal was selected from three being considered. Gisi will use BBT Architects of Bend, Ore., to design the building, and W.C. Construction, with offices in Elgin, Ore., and Richland, to build it.

Costs for the project were not available. Cox said the lease costs "were still being developed," but his board was confident the libraries' budget would cover the annual costs for leasing and operating the new branch library.

The library facility will be part of a larger building to be constructed, and Gisi won't have to pay prevailing wages unless the library constitutes more than half the building in size.

Gisi said a contract was negotiated to purchase the land from Terry and Karen Gilmore, and the architect would be starting on plans soon.

Gisi, who is a founder of Bank Reale in Pasco, said his company has done extensive amounts of commercial development in the area, including two office/warehouse projects on Quay Street in Kennewick, a recently completed 12,000-square-foot women's health center for Walla Walla General Hospital, and about 450 residential lots in west Pasco for the Fox Hollow, West Vineyards, Wilson Meadows and Desert Plateau subdivisions.

"We are very excited and pleased the libraries board had enough confidence in us to select us for the project," Gisi said.

Weather permitting, construction could begin in February, and be completed by September.

Cox said the MCL board wants to open to the public by October 2012.

Providing a second branch library in Pasco has been a goal requested by the city of Pasco, which pays the district for library services.

Having the new library facility in west Pasco was part of a 10-year-contract the city and libraries district approved last year. The contract requires the new branch library to open no later than 2013.

Cox said the new branch will be open about 33 hours a week, which is in addition to the main Pasco library. Hours there may be reduced when the new branch opens, he said.

The new branch library will be unique in offering a drive-through service window -- the first in Eastern Washington and the second in the state -- something residents said was a high priority, said library officials.

The new facility also will have an area dedicated for technology use and a separate children's and family area.