Creswell, Here to Help

Library Expansion Project fueled by generosity


Creswell Library at 64 W. Oregon Ave. has been seeking donations for the Library Expansion Project to expand their space and their services to the community, and there has been much generosity to recap.
Most recently, the library received a $25,000 grant from Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) – $24,000 from the Oregon Public Library Innovation Fund and $1,000 from the Goetze Powell Fund, Su Liudahl, library director said.
On Dec. 6, Weyerhaeuser Representative Brent Czaban stopped by the library during storytime and presented a check for $5,000 toward the project.
”As a company, Weyerhaeuser has a strong belief in supporting our communities. Learning to read and developing those skills is important,” Czaban said. ”Our libraries have grown to become more than just a resource for books – they are also a gathering place for the community. Assisting with the growth and expansion of the Creswell library is a very worthy cause.”
”We are so appreciative of this funding because it helps us achieve our goal of making a better library for Creswell without asking taxpayers for additional funds,” Liudahl said. ”We are grateful for the community’s patience as it takes a lot longer to complete a project this way.”
The expansion project is currently in its second phase.
The first phase was to purchase the property that the library had been leasing, which was completed in December 2016.
”We’ve spent about $1,009,000 so far purchasing the property (where the library is currently located plus the clinic, lumberyard, parking, etc.) and preparing for expansion,” which includes environmental studies, architectural work, legal fees and more, Liudahl said.
The library previously received $50,000 from OCF that helped with much of the planning work for the project, including architectural drawings, Liudahl said.
The donated and granted monies from OCF and Weyerhaeuser will be used for the second phase of their expansion project, Liudahl said.
The plan is to open up walls between the two sides of the building – the space that the library currently occupies and the ”west wing,” which is a section of the building that used to be a health clinic. They plan to renovate the west wing, and perform minor renovations of the existing library to help unify the space and increase functionality, Liudahl said.
Unifying the space and increasing functionality of the west wing means, ”converting the existing Children’s Room to a Teen Room, and moving all the shelving in the main library to the new space. The main library space will then be used to create a large children’s area and parent/child lounge for storytimes, events and just hanging out with your kids,” Liudahl said.
The contract for completing that work is about $570,000, which is set to begin very soon. Liudahl said the library signed a contract last week for the demolition of the west wing, as well as the renovation of the entire building. She is hopeful that the construction will begin in a month or so.
Because of rising construction costs, part of the project had to be put on hold, but the Board and staff felt that it was important to proceed with as many improvements as possible. Even though they had already decided to postpone the addition of a multipurpose room and some of the outdoor work, it was also necessary to delay the building of a front porch and completion of city-required improvements to the parking lot. Those projects will constitute the next phase of project and will proceed as soon as funds are available.
So far, $1,495,500 has been raised for the expansion project. This includes $346,000 in grants; a $497,500 loan used for the property purchase; $25,000 in interest earned on the Building Reserve Fund; $67,000 from the Friends of the Creswell Library from book sales; and $173,000 in donations from generous local families and businesses – $123,000 of which was through the Creswell Public Library Foundation.
”The Library District, through frugal operation of the library (with a lot of help from our phenomenal library volunteers) has been able to contribute $387,000 out of our own operating revenue over the past 10 years,” Liudahl said.
In addition, ”we just found out we have $15,000 pledged as matching donations. One is $10,000 and another is $5,000 – both from anonymous donors,” Liudahl was happy to report.
”We appreciate how much local citizens, businesses, and organizations have rallied to help us with donations of time and money,” Liudahl said. ”We LOVE Creswell and can’t wait to give all of you the library you deserve.”
The library is still $85,000 from our goal and will also be raising funds for the next phase of the project, which will be adding the ”front porch” and updating the parking lot to meet City code, Liudahl said. They continue to write grants and seek donations. For more information, visit



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