Renton citizens outraged by new designs for the Renton Library over the Cedar River are pledging to bring their concerns and are seeking allies in their opposition to the King County Library System (KCLS) at tonight's Renton City Council meeting at City Hall.
Around 20 individuals from Citizens to Save the Cedar River Library Again addressed KCLS trustees at a March 19 meeting and asked the board to review the process of how designs emerged that would substantially alter and reduce the size of the current library. Among the speakers, city councilwoman Marcie Palmer offered her support for preserving the library at the meeting and voicing skepticism that the new plans would garner support from the city.
"Please give us a proposal that we can consider," she said.
Some of the changes in KCLS’s design include reducing library space by over 30 percent and remove 4,000 square foot of space over the river — removing the library's riverspan entrance. Architects say the changes are necessary to reinforce the building to protect it in the event of an earthquake.
"Our community is outraged about the irresponsible KCLS design and their fast-track plan to ram this down our throats, especially when they didn’t incorporate anything our residents asked for," said Beth Asher of the Renton Citizens Group.
Approximately 76 percent of Renton voters last summer voted to preserve the library in its present location after petitioning the city to challenge a planned move for the building.
A library open house is also scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 at the Cedar River Libary where KCLS Director Bill Ptacek, Facilities Director Greg Smith and several board members are expected to present a revised design plan.