Francis Ward, 4, of Sequim digs into a book at the opening of the Sequim library’s temporary location on Monday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Francis Ward, 4, of Sequim digs into a book at the opening of the Sequim library’s temporary location on Monday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hoch Construction to build Sequim library expansion

$7.5M contract awarded to renovate 1983 building

SEQUIM — Construction is set to begin later this month on the Sequim library expansion and renovation project.

Hoch Construction of Port Angeles won the approximate $7.5 million construction contract to add about 3,800 square feet to the existing 6,255-square-foot building at 30 N. Sequim Ave. The expansion will feature more space and new equipment inside, along with a new parking lot, play area and on-site stormwater management facility.

Kyle Priest, owner of Hoch Construction, said he loves the design from SHKS Architects.

“It’ll have a real hometown farm-style look when it’s done,” he said. “It’s going to fit into Sequim like it’s been here a 100 years.”

Construction is expected to go through spring 2025.

Library trustees approved the base contract for about $6.9 million with Hoch Construction in a special meeting on March 25, in a 4-0 vote. Trustee Bert Caldwell was excused.

The North Olympic Library System architect’s original cost estimate for the project was $6.143 million over the past year. Hoch Construction’s base bid was about $6.5 million, and with an added solar backup system alternative project for $384,000, taxes and a 10 percent contingency, the total construction cost will be just less than $7.5 million.

Asked about the difference between the architect’s estimate and the contract, NOLS Executive Director Noah Glaude said it’s not uncommon — particularly with the other four bidders, primarily from the Interstate 5 corridor, bidding significantly higher.

Hoch Construction’s base bid was about $556,000 less than the next bidder, according to NOLS documents.

“I don’t feel if we went back out to bid, it would come back cheaper,” he said.

In a letter to library staff, Pia Westen with SHKS Architects — NOLS’ consulting firm for the project — wrote that she compared Hoch’s construction cost expectations with their own and “find(s) this number to be within a fair construction cost range.”

Trustees also approved a motion for Glaude to execute and approve contract amendments and change orders for the project if they are less than $50,000.

“We’re hoping not to have a lot of change orders and have it done close to the base price,” he said.

Costs

Glaude said staff plan to cover the deficit with non-obligated voter bonds through the state treasurer’s office while continuing to fundraise, seek grants and donations.

Staff has a meeting this week to determine bond terms.

Glaude said they would likely pay an annual reimbursement over 10 to 20 years using some state timber revenues that average about $400,000 a year.

“As costs rise, I don’t think anything is going to get cheaper,” he said of the project.

NOLS has about $6.1 million for the project with about $2.6 million in NOLS funds, $2.2 million from the state Department of Commerce, and $1.3 million in bequests, donations and grants.

On March 10, the Sequim Library closed for a move to a temporary location at 609 W. Washington St., Suite 21.

It opened on Monday and will operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The temporary space will cost a little more than $273,000, including the $151,465 two-year lease, $45,000 for construction improvements, and about $68,000 for moving in and eventually back out.

Construction

Glaude said city of Sequim staff anticipate issuing the Sequim library’s site permit this week for construction, and construction is scheduled to begin in mid-April. Staff are planning a groundbreaking ceremony in late April.

Priest said he and his wife Carrie are excited for the project. He comes from a Sequim pioneer family and his wife’s family business has operated locally for more than 40 years.

“It’s huge for us,” Priest said. “For me personally, as member of the homesteading family of the Priests, it’s exciting to have something like the Sequim library to build and to put my own personal mark on.”

In her letter to NOLS, Westen wrote that Hoch Construction’s references all relayed positive and successful project experiences.

“I appreciate being able to work with a local company,” Glaude said. “Hoch has been very easy to work with. They know the local markets and it’s nice to be able to support a local company, too.”

Hoch renovated the Sequim library in 2009 and the temporary library space. The company also remodeled the Forks library, a portion of the Port Angeles Main Library and the Jefferson County library.

Priest said they’ll use as many local subcontractors for the project as possible.

For more information, visit nols.org/sequim-move.

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