[Click on Columbian ad below to link to a larger image for parking details]
Old library closure
The old main library 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. closed permanently on Saturday, June 4. The building has since then been remodeled into consolidated headquarters for the library district.
Watch a time-lapse video of the library construction
September 2009 - September 2010
Click on the center arrow above to watch a 1.2-minute, time-lapse video of one year's construction progress. (See other segments below for specific months' construction.)
We've completed construction of a new approximately 83,000 square-foot main library at the corner of E. Evergreen Blvd. and C Street, to replace the old main library on Mill Plain Blvd. The new building is part of the future Killian Pacific "Library Square" development (formerly called Riverwest; see 9/26/08 news release about delay in full Riverwest build-out). The project architectural firm is Seattle-based The Miller|Hull Partnership.
[Left] Citizens at the November 2007 public meeting provided comments on the future building design and features while Miller|Hull architect Adin Dunning listened.
Where is the new library located?
The address is 901 C Street, Vancouver WA 98660, at the corner of C Street and E. Evergreen Blvd. – about four blocks west of the current location at E. Mill Plain Blvd. and Ft. Vancouver Way. The new library is on the northwest corner of the future Library Square (formerly "Riverwest") development site, which is bounded on the north by E. Evergreen Blvd., on the east by Reserve St. and the I-5 corridor, on the south by the City Center Cinemas complex, and on the west by C Street.
The building has five levels. The first floor includes a large community meeting room, Columbia Room; Friends of the Library Booknook bookstore; Atrium Coffee Corner operated by Thatcher's Coffee; hold pickups, magazines, computer training, and Teen Central. The partial second floor houses staff offices, workspaces and automated book processing. The third floor is dedicated to children, with an innovative Early Learning Center and tween area in addition to the children's collection and program spaces. The fourth floor houses the non-fiction collection, world languages and study rooms, with an atrium-like Northwest Corner open to the fifth floor. The fifth floor features the adult fiction collection and the Vancouver Room quiet reading space with fireplace, adjacent to a rooftop terrace.
The design process for the library building considered public input received, the influence of the historic Academy building just across Evergreen Blvd., and the future privately-developed Library Square buildings and public areas that will be built to the south and east of the library.
Is there more space for books?
Yes! In the old building, 11,000 square feet of space was dedicated to the library's collection; in the new building we've more than doubled this to better accommodate and display the library's collection of more than 300,000 volumes, with room for growth.
When did construction begin?
How are you paying for this project?
Construction of a new main library was made possible by voter approval in September 2006 of a $43 million bond measure for library facility improvements within the City of Vancouver. Approximate budget for the main library project is $38 million, which includes a $5 million anonymous private contribution. Land for the library was donated by the site developer, Killian Pacific.
What about parking?
With at least several years' delay in the full build-out of the publicly/privately financed elements of the development (see 9/26/08 news release), the library will open with parking provided near the building on a surface lot and on-street parking on W. Reserve St. Eventually, we anticipate that 200 spaces will be available for library patrons in a below-grade parking structure for several hours of free use while they’re in the library. Additionally, the library will be on public transit lines and located in a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly central downtown area.
What is the library’s relationship with the developer?
The new main library project has been in part made possible by the developer's gift to the district of a prime piece of property for a library. The library project is under the direction and ownership of the Vancouver Library Capital Facility Area board (the Clark County Board of Commissioners) on behalf of the citizens of Vancouver, and will be financed primarily with public funds through bond sales. However, the library district has collaborated closely with the developer, Killian Pacific, to work out the logistics and timing for construction of a public building within a future private development.
What will happen to the old library building?
The district will remodel the Mill Plain Blvd. building to consolidate administration and operations for the library district in one location.
Groundbreaking Celebration Held August 14, 2009
L-R: Jack Burkman (Chair, FVRL Board of Trustees), Jan Oliva (co-chair, 2006 Vancouver bond campaign), Nancy Stepsis (Friends of Vancouver Community Library), Karin Ford (Vancouver Community Librarian), Royce Pollard (Mayor of Vancouver), Bruce Ziegman (FVRL Executive Director), Marc Boldt (Chair, Clark County Commissioners), George Killian (Killian Pacific), Rebecca Blaisdell (Chair, Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation), and Ron Hart (co-chair, 2006 Vancouver bond campaign
Approximately 400 people attended the August 14 Groundbreaking Celebration for the new Vancouver Community Library. The event was held adjacent to the library footprint at the corner of C Street and E. Evergreen Blvd. The library will eventually share the full-block site with a Killian Pacific development that has been renamed Library Square. (Thanks for the honor, Killian Pacific!)