City library patrons on the northwest side will finally get their own branch library.
Spokane Public Library board members Wednesday approved a $212,000 purchase of land near Indian Trail and Barnes Road for the new branch.
Scheduled to open by late 1997, the branch will help meet increased demand from the fast-growing area.
The library board is also building an expanded Shadle Park branch, due to open before summer 1997.
Money for both new libraries comes from a $28.8 million bond approved by city voters in 1990.
“In growing the system from five to six libraries, we will be hiring all new staff for the sixth branch as current staffing levels are at a bare minimum,” said Aubrey George, the library’s interim director.
The board now faces the challenge of convincing the city, which approves the tax-supported libraries’ budgets, to provide enough money to operate the new branch.
With city funds scarce this year, public library directors asked employees to voluntarily take several days off to save money.
The Indian Trail library - still unnamed - will be about 10,000 square feet, slightly larger than most of the city’s other neighborhood branches.
Library staff began searching for a northwest branch site in late 1995. After settling on the Indian Trail area, they found only a few parcels suitable for a library.
The 1.5-acre site being purchased has been owned by Spokane developer Leif Sorenson. George told the board during its monthly meeting that the Indian Trail Neighborhood Specific Plan - produced over several years of community involvement - recommended placing a library near a fire station on the west side of Indian Trail Road.
The problem, however, was the lack of available land in that spot, George said.
“I’m sure that if we contact the people (in the area), we could convince them that there is really no other suitable location,” George said.
Before construction can start, the planned library will have to go through public hearings.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map: Planned Indian Trail library