Library patrons can look forward to enhancements

Kings County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with 4Creeks, Incorporated to prepare a plan, specification, and estimate package for the Kings County Library remodel project Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Board approved the agreement and adopted the budget change. Hanford Library Manager Tanya Russell told The Sentinel she and staff see a need at both libraries.

“The Hanford and Lemoore libraries are in critical need of infrastructure modernization and life safety measures,” Russell said. “This is what prompted the application for the grant funds, and we are very happy to have been awarded.”

4Creeks, one of two bidders, will be compensated $1,317,000 in architectural design services as outlined in the agreement. The project will primarily cover fire systems, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems, and address ADA accessibility and safety. In 2022, the Library received a California State Library Building Forward Infrastructure grant award for life safety and critical infrastructure needs.

The Library was awarded $13,639,097, according to a Building Forward Library Facilities Improvement Program document. There was $489 million made available in grant funding, marking the single largest investment ever in California libraries. The Hanford Library was built in 1968, and the Lemoore Library was built in 1952, and remodeled in 1981.

Library contingency funds, $279,300, are designated for architectural designs and estimates that cover optional items at both libraries. Russell said these optional remodel items include new study rooms, children’s sections and teen sections. Another optional remodel item at the Hanford library is the addition of a multi-purpose room with after-hour access.

A librarian’s office and a secondary entrance are optional items at the Lemoore Library.

“Throughout the years, the community has expressed the need for ADA-compliant restrooms to also include infant changing areas and security cameras to make people feel safer has been a request,” Russell said. “Enclosed quiet study rooms have been a request as well.”

Russell said that the library was also recently awarded $6,500 for the lunch at the library summer program. Stratford, Kettleman City, Avenal, and Armona schools are partnering with the library to give children free books for home and to provide essential nutrition information. Russell said officials and staff intend to host two to three community outreach updates throughout the remodeling project.

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