The excavation and site work for the new library is on schedule. According to Community Development Director, Leo Luczak  “library excavation and fill is approximately 50% complete. The depth of the muskeg that had to be removed is also about as predicted.”   Utility work will begin when the building pad is completed.  It is anticipated that concrete work will begin in late July. The goal is to have the building enclosed by winter.


Clearing of the new library site began this week! Petersburg’s Rock-N-Road construction  began excavating the  lot on Wednesday and have been working steadily since.

Thank you to everyone who came to our Groundbreaking Ceremony on Saturday! We had over 100 people attend the event and celebrate with us.  10 shovels held by community members each ceremoniously tossed a bit of dirt to signal the beginning of construction on the library.  From Ruth Sandvik, Petersburg’s own Purple Librarian to Bud Bergen,   a member of the library’s Teen Advisory Group, over 30 people turned the soil on Saturday showing the many efforts of a range of individuals in our community that have made our new library a  reality.

Mary Ellen Anderson, chair of the library board, commented on the significance of the event to the community, “a groundbreaking ceremony is meant to connect communities to their past and future. This groundbreaking is special in that it is a groundbreaking for a public library, an institution that itself serves to build community — it embodies our faith in a better future”. Mayor Al Dwyer also spoke at the event saying of library volunteers and board members who have worked to make the dream of a new library a reality, “I applaud their tenacity and unflappable optimism.  I know they celebrate with all of us at the prospect of a fine new public library right here next year. ”

We’d especially like to thank the Friends of Petersburg’s Libraries for providing refreshments, the PHS Brass Ensemble & Tonya Abbott for providing the music, Orin Pierson for documenting the event, and the new library’s Capital Campaign Committee for organizing this wonderful event.

Click here for more Photos of the event on the library’s Facebook page.

Click  here to listen to a sound portrait of the event from KFSK Public Radio.

Click here to see a short video of the turning of the dirt

The Petersburg Community Foundation recently presented the library with a $5,000  discretionary grant to support the construction of the new library.  Their contribution will be recognized with a plaque in the new library by the drinking fountain. Their donation, along with the many others that have been received, is an essential piece of the overall funding plan for the new library. We’re very excited about the PCF’s contribution as both the library and the PCF are devoted to improving the lives of people in our community.

Mindy Anderson, Ann Hurt, Carey Case, Marlene Cushing, Sue McCallum, Tara Alcock and Dan Sullivan — 2012 PCF grantee organization representatives

On Monday night, the Petersburg City Council awarded the construction contract for the new Petersburg Public Library  to ASRC McGraw Constructors, LLC. Local companies have been hired for the Civil and Electrical portions of the project and site work is expected to begin in late May.

A ceremonial groundbreaking is planned for Saturday, June 2 from 11am-12pm at the site of the new library!

Check out this beautiful artwork that Pia Reilly painted for the new library! We’ve printed her original design on mugs which can now be purchased online.  These cheerful mugs come in assorted colors and sizes.  Buy one at Zazzle today, just click on the mug below.  Proceeds support the public  library.

Bids for the construction of the new Petersburg Public Library were read on Thursday at MRV Architects in Juneau and came in under the estimated budget amount of $4.5 million. ASRC McGraw Constructors, LLC.   was deemed the lowest responsive bid for the project. At the May 7 City Council meeting, the project building committee will recommend that the bid be awarded to ASRC McGraw.

Yet to come are bids for remaining work and contents such as construction administration, technology, landscaping, furnishings, and equipment.

Construction of the new library is scheduled to begin early this summer. The library is anticipated to open in the  summer of 2013.

Petersburg's 'Purple Librarian' Ruth Sandvik

Ask about Ruth Sandvik in Petersburg and people smile as they share stories of the librarian adorned in purple, who played music in the library and let children read under the tables. A graduate of Reed College, Ruth came to Petersburg in 1941 and began teaching at Petersburg Schools.  After taking time off to raise a family with her husband Oscar Sandvik, Ruth returned to Petersburg High School with a Masters Degree in Library Science from The University of Portland, as Petersburg’s first trained librarian.  She educated the staff and students  K-12 in the importance of reading and research and has been known for generations by her trademark, the purple librarian. “In library school, they told me to pick something out that made me distinctive,” Ruth explains, “so I decided to be the Purple Librarian.”   Active in our local arts world and always working to improve both public and school library services, Ruth is a living example of civic involvement and a prime builder of the community library system we all enjoy today.  Her 70 years of efforts to make library services relevant and universally available is a record unrivaled.

Thanks to a generous contribution from the Sandvik family a meeting room in the new library will be named in honor of Ruth and her remarkable library legacy in Petersburg.

Ruth Sandvik & Sue Paulsen with the Library Bill of Rights

KFSK Public Radio, Petersburg – It looks like Petersburg’s Romiad Building will be torn down after all. A local Business has decided not to go forward with a $200 thousand dollar loan from Petersburg’s Economic Development Fund. Click here to listen to the full news story on KFSK. 

City of Kupreanof Mayor Dana Thynes presents Library Board Chair Mary Ellen Anderson with a donation for the new library.

The City of Kupreanof recently presented the library with an $18,011 donation to support the construction of Petersburg’s new library. The new library will be community connection spot where community members can meet friends, relax, and escape the rain. It will be an energy efficient & sustainable facility that will meet the community’s needs for many years. To honor the generosity of the City of Kupreanof both the Story Corner and a boat on the Fishing Wall will be named in recognition.  To spur giving from other local residents, the City of Kupreanof challenged both Kupreanof residents and Petersburg residents to donate to the new library.

KFSK Public Radio – Petersburg’s new library project is ready for construction. The city started advertising for contractor bids Thursday of last week. With the final plans complete, the architect’s cost estimate remains unchanged at just over four and a half million dollars. The building will be paid for with a legislative grant, private donations, and a local bond that voters approved last fall. City officials expect to award the construction contract in mid-April.

Matt Lichtenstein asked Librarian Tara Alcock and City Manager Steve Giesbrecht for an update:

Request for bids

REQUEST FOR BIDS: Petersburg Library, Petersburg, Alaska. This Project consists of construction of a 10,000 square foot new, stand-alone library. The project includes concrete slab-on-grade foundations with civil work including over-excavation, fill, and utility relocations. The library is a wood framed, single-story structure with a small mechanical mezzanine. Work will include electrical, mechanical, finishes and casework.


PRE-BID MEETING will be at 4:00 p.m. on March 29, 2012, City Council Chambers of the City of Petersburg.

DEADLINE: SEALED BIDS WILL BE RECEIVED UNTIL 2:00 p.m. local time on April 12, 2012 at MRV Architects, 1420 Glacier Ave, #101, Juneau, Alaska.

BID DOCUMENTS MAY BE VIEWED at the Community Development Department, Petersburg, AK, or at www.mrvarchitects.com.

BID DOCUMENTS MAY BE PURCHASED from links found at www.mrvarchitects.com. Plan holders must register at www.mrvarchitects.com .

This project is funded in part by legislative grants through the Alaska Dept. of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. The City of Petersburg is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

OWNER reserves the right to reject all or any Bid(s). Please direct questions to Corey Wall (907)586-1371.

As of Feb 1, 2012, 217 individuals, businesses and organizations have pledged $338,783 to the new Petersburg Library!

Make your tax deductible donation today…

  • In person at the library
  • By mail – Please use our donation form
  • Online – We can accept your credit card donation online at the Alaska Community Foundation’s secure online giving site. When asked “Please apply my gift to” be sure to select “Petersburg Public Library Fund”.

Questions? Call the library at (907) 772-3349 or email us at library@ci.petersburg.ak.us

Details about the new library’s FISHING WALL and the many naming opportunities available can be found on the capital campaign pledge form

The Petersburg City Council will conduct a Work Session on Monday, January 9, 2012 at noon in the Council Chambers for the purpose of discussing and reviewing: the site plan of the new library building; financial statements; budget guidelines and remaining fund balance from the Fire Hall/EMS construction project. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

At the regular City Council meeting last night, City Council members voted unanimously to award a contract for the removal of the existing building on the library site (also know as the Romiad Building) to Rock N Road Construction of Petersburg. The building’s demolition is an exciting first step toward the construction of a new community library in Petersburg. Prior to the demolition effort, Rock N Road plans to salvage various materials from the building starting in January. They will start on the full scale demolition work on March 1st and will be done with the removal, site grading and cleanup by March 25th.

Qualified Alaskans, who fill out their annual PFD applications online from January 1 through March 31, now have the chance to support nonprofit causes by designating a portion or all of their PFD go to the list added to the application form.

The PFD Pick. Click. Give program is an easy way for residents to show their support for the new Petersburg Public Library. It’s a safe and secure way to make your donation and share the bounty we all gather from our PFDs. Every dollar and every ounce of support matters so much to getting our Library completed.  Make you contribution by choosing “The Friends of Petersburg’s Libraries” when you file your PFD application.

For more information on the Pick. Click. Give, go to: www.pickclickgive.org

The City of Petersburg is seeking proposals for an On-Site Construction Administrator for the construction of the new Public Library building to be located at 104 Haugen Drive in Petersburg, Alaska.  Proposals from qualified individuals will be accepted until 5pm, Monday, January 23, 2012.   Please see Addendum 1 for additional information.


The 75% construction documents for the new library have been received and are under review. The design for the new library has undergone many years of review and lots of public meetings and comments. Thanks to this, only minor changes need to be made to now ensure the building works well for the public and for staff. Designing an energy efficient, economical building has been a driving force from the beginning. When we finish our Construction documents and arrive at the 100% stage – we’ll be ready to advertise for construction bids!

An updated construction cost estimate prepared by HMS, Inc.  has also been received and it appears that everything is on target. The new library is estimated to cost $4.56M for construction.  The cost estimate is on budget with the building committee moving some items to the alternates list to keep the project within its original budget; allowing for contingencies. The total project cost estimate is  $6.78M (includes cost for project management, design, construction, and furnishings).