The West Olympia Community Visioning Group recently went more public with their plans for a community center on the city’s west side. The proposed park and education center would be on the north side of Harrison Road as it heads west to become Mud Bay Road.
When Olympia builds a new library, this community development would have a great deal with how it gets done.
At least some of the reasons voters rejected the idea of a new larger Olympia library in the mid-90s was because the proposal didn’t include a west side branch.
It should be noted that while a majority of the voters in the Library Capital Facilities District (generally the Olympia School District including the Griffin area, minus a few parts of Tumwater) did support the idea, the campaign failed to reach the needed 60 percent super majority.
In the current plan being put forward by the visioning group, the education center in the project would include a library kiosk where people could drop off books, pick up holds, reserve books (like this one in Hawks Prairie).While this doesn’t make the project a library, it at least expands library services directly to the west side.
Since the failure of the library vote in Olympia, the idea of a west side branch has stuck around. In 2007 the City of Olympia conducted a survey on library services, and it pointed directly at city-wide support for a west side branch.
By a small margins, respondents wanted to build a new west side branch than expand downtown.
And, that survey seem to point to support for a library in the general location of the proposed community center; 80 percent said they wanted a library near either Capital High School or the mall.