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New Lake Hills Library Opens!
Bill Ptacek, KCLS Director, welcomed the community to the new library.
“Many years ago the city started on this redevelopment project,” Bill Ptacek said. “For many of us, this is the end of a long road. “
The new 10,000 square foot library is located in the redeveloped Lake Hills Shopping Center. A community stakeholder group created a redevelopment proposal in 2003, calling for a new library, retail and office space and residential units to be constructed in phases. The new library and neighboring office space are the first phase to be completed.
Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson addressed the crowd and said the new library means a lot for the community.
“Didn’t the building turn out beautiful?” Davidson asked.
KCLS Board Member Rob Spitzer said the new library will be the heart of the community.
“This is a center for people to open up their minds and grow the community of Bellevue,” Spitzer said.
Other dignitaries who attended and echoed similar sentiments were Bellevue City Councilmember Claudia Balducci, King County Councilmember Jane Hague and State Representative Ross Hunter.
Breaking Ground at Lake Hills!
In addition to about 250 community members, the sun even made an appearance at the groundbreaking that was held on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 20, to celebrate the start of construction for the new Lake Hills Library and Shopping Center.
As residents, local dignitaries and library staff took seats, Conan McLemore, a Page at Bellevue Regional Library, entertained guests with a few songs on his saxophone. Bill Ptacek welcomed everyone to the groundbreaking, saying that the project has been in progress for many years. He explained that the developer, Cosmos development Company, is beginning construction of the first phase of the project, which will include the shell for the new 10,000 square foot library.
The redevelopment proposal, based on a concept created by a community stakeholder group in 2003, calls for 100,000 square feet of retail and office space and 90 residential units to be constructed in phases. Many Bellevue City Council members were in attendance, as well as King County Councilmember Jane Hague and KCLS Board of Trustee Jessica Bonebright.
“This shopping center has so much history,” said Bellevue Mayor Greg Degginger. “There will be a lot of new energy here.”
When it came time for the ceremonial digging, children wearing kid-sized yellow hard hats and equipped with small shovels joined dignitaries with gold shovels and dug into a mound of earth. The crowd enjoyed refreshments provided by Bellevue Friends of the Library and Cosmos Development Company.