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The library will re-open later this month in a new and much larger space on the same city block.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - A construction worker installs a camera at Cornelius Place on Friday, Jan. 25.The Cornelius Public Library is getting a much larger new space. But before it can open, the library needs to transfer its materials and equipment from its current building to the new one.

The library will take up most of the ground floor of Cornelius Place, a three-story, mixed-use building at the corner of North Adair Street and 14th Avenue. Cornelius Place is just south of the two-story city building that has housed the small library since the 1970s, so library director Karen Hill said moving will largely involve carting or carrying boxes, furniture and other items across the alleyway — including a parking area and a small public plaza — that separates them.

"It's going to be all volunteers," Hill said, talking about the moving process.

From Saturday, Feb. 16, through next Wednesday, Feb. 20, volunteers will effectively be moving the library into its new home. The library is asking for people to commit anywhere between two hours or a full day at a time.

Those interested in volunteering can call the library at 503-357-4093 or sign up online.

Once the moving period begins, the library — including the book drop — will be closed to visitors. No library services will be available from Saturday until the library re-opens at Cornelius Place. The opening is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25.

No fines will be charged during the period the library is closed, and pending holds will be carried over until after the library re-opens at its new location.

Once the Cornelius Public Library has been fully moved over to its new location at Cornelius Place, the wing of the Cornelius Civic Center building that it currently occupies will undergo renovations.

City officials plan to convert the "old" library space into a public meetings room that will serve as chambers for the Cornelius City Council. There is no timetable at this point for when work on the chambers will be completed.

"Right now, it's not high on our priority list," said Debby Roth, Cornelius' city recorder and treasurer.

Once they are renovated, Roth said, the new meeting space will include a control room for Tualatin Valley Community TV. TVCTV currently records Cornelius City Council meetings but does not air them live. With a control room, TVCTV will have the capability to broadcast meetings as they happen, Roth said.

The council, as well as most city boards and commissions, has been meeting at Centro Cultural de Washington County, 1110 N. Adair St., since the old city building that housed its chambers was torn down in 2017 to make way for the construction of Cornelius Place. Public meetings will temporarily move to the Walters Community Room at the new library starting Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Cornelius Place is located at 1370 N. Adair St., just across 14th Avenue from Cornelius Elementary School.

The Cornelius Public Library is also posting new hours:

• Saturday through Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Wednesday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Hill said the library is adding staff and programs to help fill out its new space, which is more than four times the size of the existing library — approximately 14,000 square feet, as compared to the current 3,000 square feet. An adult services librarian was recently hired, and Hill said she anticipates more library programming for adults, including seniors, to follow the move.

Cornelius Place is a joint venture between the Cornelius Public Library and nonprofit housing partners. BRIDGE Housing owns most of the building's square footage, with 45 apartment units on the second and third floors. The apartments are designated as low-income housing for people age 55 and older.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information on the future of the current Cornelius Public Library space and the venue for public meetings at Cornelius Place starting Feb. 26.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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