Royal City library starting to take shape

Mar. 27—ROYAL CITY — The new Royal City Public Library marked another milestone this month, as the concrete was poured March 14.

"This means we have done grade work, footing and foundation, underground plumbing, piping for floor heat, and slab insulation," Friends of the Royal City Library volunteer Susan Piercy wrote in an email to the Columbia Basin Herald.

The walls will begin going up in about another month to a month and a half, Piercy said Tuesday. Her husband Gary Piercy, a contractor, is volunteering his services for the construction.

"(Over the next month or two) he will be ordering windows, doors, roofing, getting prepared for that next step," Piercy said. "The (insulated concrete forms), which the walls will be made of, is in storage in Royal City and just waiting for the day."

Insulated concrete forms, or ICF, are blocks of a polystyrene foam with space inside to pour the concrete into, Piercy explained. Once the concrete sets, the forms are left in place and drywall or siding can be attached to them. ICF costs a little more than standard wood-frame construction, but it's durable and makes for a better-insulated building.

The whole project has been paid for with donations, Piercy said. The Lauzier Foundation donated $150,000 in 2023 and another $200,000 in March.

"(The) $200,000 was supposed to be coming in July, but when they saw our progress, they said 'We're going to send you the money so you can keep going on that,'" she said.

A final installment of $150,000 will come from the foundation in 2025, she said.

Community members and businesses have contributed somewhere around $250,000 as well, Piercy said, including a $20,000 contribution last week from Washington Fruit.

The Friends of the Royal City Library is still accepting donations, she added. More information can be found at https://bit.ly/4avuwtb.

Joel Martin may be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.