Ever since 2008, the Gold Beach community has waited to have a meeting space addition built onto the library. When the original architectural plans for the 3rd Street library were drawn in 2004 to include a large meeting room, the Friends of the Library, the library staff, library users, and library supporters anticipated having a space to attend lectures, enjoy musical performances, and participate in classes. It was devastating when budget shortfalls eliminated the meeting space from the construction project in 2007-2008. Finally, due to the generous bequests 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 the annex project is becoming a reality.
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 input from the surveys, and brainstorming with stakeholders and library Board members, the new addition morphed from a community center into the “Library Learning Center.” The focus of the new facility will be programs for children and families, arts and culture, and community access to cutting-edge technology.
To supplement funds from the three major bequests, the Friends applied for matching grants from Oregon foundations, and received $250,000 from The Ford Family Foundation, $50,000 from the Collins Foundation, $20,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation, $20,000 from the Smullen Foundation, $5,000 from the Mike Keiser Fund, and an anonymous $20,000 grant. With an eye to the future, the Friends had started depositing $5,000 annually into a building fund back in 2009. Even though this fund has increased to $40,000 over the past nine years, the Friends asked for…and the generous folks in the Gold Beach community responded …an additional $25,000 in contributions to the building project.
The Friends hosted a “Construction Kick-off” event in early August 2017. Completion of the project is estimated to be in the summer of 2018. The new Learning Center will have a large meeting space that will accommodate 150 people, a small catering kitchen, a 20-person conference room with teleconferencing capability, and a technology lab with scanners, color printers, 3D printer, video editing equipment, a green wall, and software for graphic arts, CAD, and modeling. Internet service will be expanded to provide wider bandwidth for accommodating the huge amounts of data associated with video streaming and teleconferencing.
To contribute to this vital and much anticipated project, donate here.