There’s some debate online about the new ‘Lakewood-Smokey Point’ library location. While dubbed ‘Lakewood’ by local residents, like the city in Pierce
County, it’s actually North Lakewood. For now, when you spot the signage online or at passing, just safely assume it’s in Snohomish County.
The new location is by Lowe’s Home Improvement off Smokey Point Boulevard, at 3411 169th Place NE in Arlington, behind the KFC, and kitty-corner to the Tractor Supply. According to the Arlington Times, the library is overdue for such an expansion, with far too few libraries meeting the needs of far too many residents, an identifiable metric that has been watched closely by the Economic Development Team in Marysville for quite some time.
The library is to feature a ‘laptop bar,’ at the front, (almost like Bookends on the main Everett Library Branch), accessible via Wi-Fi for a coffee-shop
type experience. Though the final lay out hasn’t been decided, the inside demolition and renovations are presently underway.
Sno-Isle Libraries serve just about 743,530 residents through 22 different locations presently. In 2015 alone, 7.97 million items were borrowed, meaning
the 1.2 million items available for rotation were in high demand. The system strives to meet the needs of the public in many ‘non-traditional’
ways, including about fifty-four hundred Library on Wheels stops to serve the homebound, outlying areas and senior facilities.
One of the reasons why putting a library in place in Smokey Point or (North) Lakewood is the very rapid population expansion. The businesses are booming
in that area, home prices are rising, and the new Everett Clinic brought thousands of extra commuters and car traffic along with it. What used
to be a sleepy intersection just south of Island Crossing is now expected to grow by nearly 20% in the next 6-8 years, and had grown exponentially
in the last ten.
As it stands now, the City of Marysville has an aggressive plan for the ‘Smokey Point Master Plan’, which encompasses 675 acres just about a mile East
of where the new library is to reside. Per the City of Marysville website, the Master plan area selected “constitutes the largest developable concentration
of commercial and light industrial-zoned property along I-5 from the U.S.-Canadian border to south of Seattle-Tacoma. […] The Smokey Point
area is master planned with the potential to create 10,000 jobs in high-tech, other light industry, aerospace and other manufacturing. These are
jobs that can support families, and reduce travel times for commuters so that they have more time to spend with their families.”
The website goes on to detail that “three I-5 interchanges, including 116th and 172nd exits, provide access to the master plan area. 156th Street overcrossing,
funded through a partnership of the City and property owners, opened in November 2012 and will provide even better access to the Smokey Point area.”
In other words, hold on to your hats, Smokey Point! The changes that began arriving in smaller bites are now super-sized, and ready to take massive
strides towards economic development. Snohomish County is looking at a population boom it hasn’t experienced in such extravagant numbers since
of the original platting near the turn of the century. The library is one small piece of a very large pie, and hopefully helps to ease the transition
to ‘big town’ by providing a modern, serviceable space for the free sharing of information, not just from the locals, but also for those re-locating
and hoping to settle in, in the new and thriving community.
Image care of Marysville.gov.