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After nearly a decade of planning, fundraising, design, and construction, the Wenatchee Public Library remodel is complete! We are so grateful to the Friends of the Wenatchee Library, the City of Wenatchee, local donors, and the Department of Commerce for making this work possible. Shout out to the Wenatchee Public Library staff for their flexibility, nimbleness, and commitment. Special thanks to Wenatchee Library patrons for their patience and support.

We wanted to share a little bit of the project’s history and outcomes to celebrate what was made possible through persistence and partnership. From start to finish, our staff have prioritized community needs. Our commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency has informed every decision, from furniture and paint choices to ensuring mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work aligns with the latest energy codes. We were able to increase natural light throughout the building, particularly on the lower level by installing new, large exterior windows along with interior glass doors and partitions to allow the light to filter throughout the space.

PHASE 1 | 2015-2020

In 2015, the Friends of the Wenatchee Public Library launched a capital campaign to revitalize the library. Their goal was to create a bright, welcoming, and functional space to better serve the community for years to come. They raised nearly $1.4 million from local donors, businesses, and grants. NCW Libraries, the City of Wenatchee, and the Department of Commerce also contributed funding.

We partnered with Forte Architects and DOH Associates, both local Wenatchee firms, on the design for Phase 1.

Phase 1 Outcomes

  • Upgrades to HVAC
  • Interior and Exterior Paint
  • New Lighting, Flooring, Windows, Furniture, Shelving, Wayfinding, and Signage
  • Updated Technology
  • A Private Meeting Room on the Main Floor
  • A Centralized Information Desk
  • Quiet Study Areas
  • Updated Single Use Public Bathrooms
  • A Water Bottle Refill Station

PHASE 2 | 2020-2024

In 2021, an exterior mural design was chosen by the community and completed by local artists, Heather Dappen and Ellen Smith. The mural was funded by the Wenatchee Friends and local donors.

There were several items in the original scope of work that could not be completed in Phase 1. NCW Libraries staff applied for and were awarded a grant from the Department of Commerce to fund a Young Adult Area and additional flexible meeting space. NCW Libraries and the Wenatchee Friends also contributed funding.

Through a formal RFQ process, we selected BuildingWork as the project’s architect and interior designer. BuildingWork specializes in libraries and historic building remodels in Washington State. We were incredibly grateful for their expertise, knowledge of library needs, and ability to work within budget constraints.

Throughout the design process, we worked diligently to stay within budget, a significant challenge in the midst of inflation and rising construction costs. We went through several rounds of value engineering to identify the best ways to steward our budget to meet community needs. Construction began in January of this year and ended this month.

Phase 2 Outcomes


NCW Libraries and BuildingWork collaborated with local teens to design the Young Adult Space to serve as place to learn and network while escaping from the demands of social media. The area features new furniture, updated fixtures, and calming colors and decor, all chosen by local teens. The new technology installed in the space will expand access to digital resources and tools that serve various learning styles. Located on the lower mezzanine of the library, the space is distinguished from other areas, giving teens an inviting and welcoming place, just for them.


A gallery was installed to display local artwork on a rotating basis. The goal is to cultivate community by inviting patrons to linger, socialize, and network while enjoying the talent of regional artists. The space will also attract and engage people in the community who may not typically visit or use the library, providing the opportunity to connect with library resources. The Wenatchee Library looks forward to partnering with community members, arts organizations, and art educators as well as participating in the City of Wenatchee’s First Friday Art Walks.


The Caregiver’s Room and Stroller Parking are both located adjacent to the children’s area on the lower level of the library. The Caregiver’s room offers a quiet, private space for caregivers and features a comfortable chair, side table, and outlet. The Stroller Parking can accommodate 3-4 strollers.


As a public library, our goal is to understand and meet the most pressing needs of the communities we serve. Throughout the design process, the need for free, flexible meeting space has been voiced by local government agencies, non-profits, community organizations, and local leaders.

The Phase 2 updates included adding three additional flexible meeting spaces to the Wenatchee Library bringing the total to four private meeting spaces with several seating and gathering areas for informal meetings and networking. Local government agencies, non-profits, community organizations, area leaders and educators have all voiced a need for this type of space and we look forward to serving the community through our meeting rooms.

Each meeting room features a large screen TV with screenshare capabilities, a 4×8 whiteboard with markers, tables and chairs. The Balsamroot and Sagebrush Meeting Rooms tables and chairs are easy to move and re-configure to accommodate a variety of meeting and programming needs.

The Lions Club Conference Room (max capacity of 16) and Lupine Meeting Room (max capacity of 13)  were designed for small gatherings including meetings, group studying, exam proctoring, interviews, resume assistance, telehealth, teleservices, book clubs, and more. The Balsamroot Meeting Room (max capacity of 23) and Sagebrush Meeting Room (max capacity of 69) were designed for mid to large gatherings including STEM based maker programs, meetings, presentations, classes, workshops, and programs. The furniture in these rooms is flexible and can be arranged according to the meeting purpose. All four meeting rooms are available for reservation up to 8 weeks in advance in person, by calling 609-662-5021, or by emailing

We are so thrilled with the outcomes of this project, and so grateful for all the staff, volunteers, and partner organizations that made it possible!

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