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Oregon City hosts regional library forum

Oregon City officials are encouraging citizens from across the region to attend a Sept. 5 meeting at City Hall, 625 Center St., to gather public input about what people would like to see on the inside of the new library.

Although the city decided to locate its library permanently near downtown, the Carnegie building will serve thousands of residents all the way out to Beavercreek and Redland.

Library Director Maureen Cole wants citizens of Oregon City and unincorporated Clackamas County to bring their ideas to the first public forum starting at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will focus on a “big aspect” of what the library will look like: figuring out what is inside the library, how the interior space is used and how much space is devoted to specific services. Because the city wants continued input, she hopes folks will keep thinking about what they’d like to see inside the new library and how they’d would like to see the space used.

City commissioners unanimously designated Carnegie Park as the permanent site of the library on June 19 after seeing new architectural renderings that showed a two-story expansion wouldn’t dominate the century-old building.

The City Commission hopes to finance a renovation of Carnegie’s current 7,000 square feet and an expansion of 13,000 additional square feet. The project, estimated at a total of $9.8 million, would require the city to take out a $6 million loan with about $559,000 annual debt .

Mayor Doug Neeley saw a key political turnaround by the two members of the Library Board living in the Beavercreek area. They had wanted a more central facility, but ended up helping unanimously recommend a permanent library designation for the Carnegie site on June 12.

“It’s important that our county residents were positive when they saw the renderings of the site,” Neeley said.




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