The City of Tukwila, KCLS and partners receive a 2019 Governor’s Smart Communities Award

The City of Tukwila, King County Library System (KCLS) and Tukwila Village Community Development Association (TVCDA) received a Washington State Department of Commerce Smart Communities Award from Governor Jay Inslee in the Smart Partnerships category for developing the Tukwila Village.

Now in its 14th year, the Smart Communities Award recognizes achievements by local leaders who promote smart growth planning and projects that contribute to thriving communities, a prosperous economy and sustainable infrastructure in Washington. The City of Tukwila was one of thirteen communities in Washington State to win an award this year, and the Tukwila Village, a multicultural and multigenerational community and neighborhood center, features KCLS’ new 10,000 square-foot Tukwila Library as a focal point.

Nearly double the size of the former 5,250 square-foot Foster Library it replaced, the $8.9 million Tukwila Library opened in April 2017, and features flexible open spaces for a variety of community uses, including tutoring, classes, lectures, music and art performances, author readings, Story Times and studying.

“KCLS is proud to offer the residents of Tukwila a place where people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds have equal access to information,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “KCLS shares the City's vision for Tukwila Village as a welcoming place where residents can gather and learn, and we are pleased to have played a part in building a framework that will foster community engagement for generations to come.”

In 2010, KCLS formalized a partnership with the City of Tukwila to help establish the Tukwila Village. In addition to the Tukwila Library, the Tukwila Village features 193 affordable senior housing units, and a new public space for community events and gatherings. By 2021, Tukwila Village will also include a mini-food hall, small retail businesses, live/work units and 398 apartments.

Further management of the Tukwila Village project required an ongoing partnership, so the City and its partners took an innovative approach and formed the TVCDA, which aims to improve the social welfare of the local community and residents of Tukwila Village by promoting arts, economic development, education, health and community building.

This marks the second Smart Communities Award that a KCLS partnership has won. In 2016, the City of Renton and KCLS received the Judges’ Merit Award for the City of Renton Public Library partnership that preserved and renovated the historic Renton Library, and helped re-establish the city center as a “people place.”

About King County Library System
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest public library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County (outside the City of Seattle), KCLS currently has 50 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2011, KCLS was named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal. In 2018, residents checked out more than 4.8 million digital eBooks and audiobooks through Rakuten OverDrive, making KCLS the #1 digital circulating library in the U.S. and #3 in the world.

King County Library System Media Contact: Sarah Thomas, 425.369.3277, sjthomas@kcls.org