Work has started on the 900-square-foot expansion of the Manchester Library. The new space will include added room for library programs and community meeting space. (Courtesy photo)

Work has started on the 900-square-foot expansion of the Manchester Library. The new space will include added room for library programs and community meeting space. (Courtesy photo)

Manchester Library expansion now underway

Friends organization still raising funds for project

PORT ORCHARD — Work is underway to expand the Manchester Library by an additional 900 square feet to better accommodate the facility’s programs and meet the community’s meeting space needs.

The building, which is maintained by the sponsoring Friends of the Manchester Library (FOML) nonprofit organization, is being expanded from its current 2,800 square-foot footprint.

After the passage of a library levy in Kitsap County in 2017, the Kitsap Regional Library system initiated a “refresh” of its current branch library facilities, according to Ray Pardo, a FOML director.

“During the refresh design phase, it became apparent that the Manchester Library was too small for all the design ideas we wanted to incorporate,” Pardo said, referring to the need to make one of the bathrooms handicapped-accessible, adding needed space for children’s programs and adding space for teens.

“To achieve all our shared goals, the Friends started planning an expansion of the existing library building.”

In order to fund the group’s expansion goals, FOML established a goal of raising $300,000. So far, $60,000 has been raised, he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, put a crimp in the organization’s fundraising plans. The big fundraising event held annually, the Father’s Day Salmon Bake, was canceled this year. But FOML is accepting donations for the expansion at FOML, P.O. Box 128, Manchester, WA 98353. Donations also can be made via a PayPal link at manchesterwa.org.

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