The City of Leavenworth is launching a feasibility study about the possibility of moving the Leavenworth Public Library into the vacant Osborn Elementary School property.

The City is partnering with the library's parent organization, NCW Libraries (NCWL), to explore the potential move.

NCWL's executive assistant, Tim Dillman, says moving the library from its current location inside Leavenworth City Hall to the 25,000-square-foot building holds several benefits.

"It would increase the square footage of the library and allow us more space for collection and patrons, and allow us more creativity on how we utilize the space for meeting rooms or staff areas. It also has a benefit for the community because it would make the library more accessible to residents. It can be pretty hard for local residents to get down to that downtown core area and access library services, especially on weekends and during major events in Leavenworth."

The City is reportedly only interested in using about half of the school's square footage for a library and community center.

Dillman adds the City's interest in moving the library couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's a really opportune time for the City to be looking at this because NCW Libraries as a library district is in the process of a multi-year project to invest money into all of the libraries that we operate. So the City has an opportunity to maximize their investment by doing this in conjunction with our project."

Last month, the City allocated $50,000 and contracted with Seattle-based ARC Architects to conduct two separate feasibility studies about the potential move, including one which will be spearheaded by NCW Libraries that targets library patronage. Both studies are scheduled to begin by the end of this month and be completed by early spring.

Dillman says it's possible the studies will find that the move is not in the two parties best interest, but if the venture is green-lighted, the earliest the library would move in would be sometime around the middle of next year.

The City of Leavenworth acquired Osborn Elementary from Cascade School District in 2021 for $630,000.

The Leavenworth Library has been operating within City Hall since 1994, and Dillman says Leavenworth has had a public library since 1911, and joined NCW Libraries (formerly North Central Regional Library in 1964.

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