County services in Kamas temporarily relocated
Samak resident Stephanie Bray and her four-year-old daughter Raylin sat on the ground in the corner of the small room in the back of the Kamas Health Center Building, in the parking lot of the Food Town shopping center, on Monday poring over books.
After about 20 minutes, Bray emerged with at least a dozen children’s books cradled in her arms to check out from the new temporary site of the Kamas branch of the Summit County Library.
Bray said she and her daughter are unfazed by the library’s recent move to its temporary home, before adding that they have actually been able to find new books since the relocation.
"It’s just one of the things you have to deal with while the new one is being built," Bray said. "We are really excited about the new library, though, and we will still try and come at least once a week or a few times a month while it’s here."
Monday, crews began demolishing the outdated services building to prepare for construction of the new structure, which will be more than three times its size. The project is expected to take nearly a year to complete. However, county officials had previously advertised an aggressive timeline that put completion closer toward the end of the year.
The Summit County Council reallocated $5.5 million from previous year’s budget for the new 18,000-square-foot building. The space will accommodate the current services, in addition to a new senior center, a 1,900-square-foot space for public meetings and an 800-square-foot computer classroom. In January, Summit County Manager Tom Fisher signed an architectural service contract with Method Studio, of Salt Lake City, to design and construct the new two-story building.
More than 6,000-square feet in the new facility will be dedicated to the Kamas library. It will include an auditorium, the computer lab and larger, more varied spaces for adults, children and teens.
Kate Mapp, Kamas branch manager, said the relocation has affected the programs that they are able to offer and limited the library’s hours of operation. The library is now open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and closed on the weekends.
"We had to discontinue our Create and Take afternoon craft activity for kids because we just don’t have a good area to do it in now and we want to be good neighbors to the others in the building," Mapp said. "But we can still do story times and we are still able to offer a lot of our adult programs, like the book clubs and memory classes."
About half of the library’s collection has been placed in storage, however, Mapp emphasized that the items are still accessible. She said access to wireless internet and popular items, such as DVDs and audio books, are also still available in-house.
"Right now we can just really push people to use our other services and look at our website," Mapp said. "I just don’t want people to forget about the library during the construction and I hope they come visit the new temporary facility."
All the services that were housed in the Kamas County Service Building, including the library, county health department, Valley Behavioral Health and the Department of Motor Vehicles, were recently relocated to temporary locations throughout Kamas.
In addition to the library, the Health Department is also being housed at the Kamas Health Center Building, located at 228 West 200 South.
The Division of Motor Vehicles will operate out of the Senior Center, located at 20 East 400 South, and Valley Mental Health’s operations have been relocated to South Summit High School.
Julie Keyes, office manager at the Kamas DMV, said they have had to adjust their hours to not interfere with the Senior Center’s operations. The DMV is now open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
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