It was devastating when budget shortfalls eliminated the meeting space addition from the library construction project in 2006-2008. Finally, due to the generous bequests in 2015 from the estates of Harald Haug ($1,200,000), Charles Rouse ($305,000), and Cliff & Maxine Yadon ($50,000), the library was able to pay off its $425,000 mortgage and start planning for a new addition to the library. The Friends of the Library applied for and received matching grant funding from The Ford Family Foundation ($250,000), the Collins Foundation ($50,000), the Oregon Community Foundation ($20,000), the Smullin Foundation ($20,000), the Mike Keiser Fund ($5,000), and an anonymous $20,000 grant. The Friends of the Library contributed $78,000 to the project from monies they had raised through four annual fundraisers 2009-2018, and $25,000 from a building fund drive.
From July 1-December 1, 2015, the Friends distributed surveys, asking the community for their input on how the new facility should be used, and what equipment and technology they wanted included. The Friends also hosted stakeholder meetings, asking for input from local leaders in business, government, education, the non-profit sector, and parents. As a result of the feedback from the surveys, and brainstorming with stakeholders and library Board members, the new addition morphed from a community center into the unique “Learning Center” it is today. The Friends hosted a “Construction Kick-off” event in early August 2017, and the gala Grand Opening of the new facility was held one year later on August 18, 2018.
The focus of the new facility is programs for children and families, arts and culture, and community access to cutting-edge technology. The new Learning Center has: (1) a large meeting space that accommodates 125-150 people, (2) First Chapter Coffee House, (3) a 20-person conference room with teleconferencing capability, (4) an art gallery for vetted, rotating exhibits, and (5) a technology lab with scanners, large-format color printer, 3D printer, video editing equipment, laser cutting equipment, a green wall, and software for graphic arts, CAD, and modeling. In anticipation of the need to provide wider bandwidth for accommodating the huge amounts of data associated with video streaming and teleconferencing, internet service was expanded significantly in 2017.
To contribute to ongoing programs, exhibits, and equipment for the HHLLC project, donate here.