New Shady Cove Library opens; grand opening July 11

Interior of the new Shady Cove Library
Interior of the new Shady Cove Library

On September 17, 2006, a crowd gathered on a hot day in Shady Cove to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Shady Cove Library. After a glitch or two, construction began in November 2007. Eight months later, on July 1, Branch Supervisor, Holly Hertel, finally opened the doors of the new library to residents and visitors from as far as California.


About 25 people were there for the opening of the doors, with a total
of 75 by the end of the day. The first to arrive was Esther Morrow of
Oceanside who was visiting her mother, Audrey Whitman of Shady Cove.
Because Morrow "used libraries a lot" while staying in town, she spent
a week helping to move books from the temporary location. Other
Californians were two young ladies, 16-year-old Carrie and her
ten-year-old cousin Heather, who brought their Shady Cove cousin to
sign up for the reading program.
   
The patrons, mainly
locals, were visibly impressed with the high cathedral ceilings and the
light, airy feel of the building. "Oohs and aahs" dominated
conversations as the readers perused the book inventory.
   
On
scattered sofas, children were reading books and one Trail grandfather,
John Grow, was reading with his granddaughter, six-year-old Lauren, who
"likes to read all kinds of books."
   
Assistant Librarian,
SueAnne Torres, had donned a massive "ladybug" costume to sign children
up for the summer reading program. Her effort was a success because at
the end of the day about 20 kids had signed up. A reminiscing Hertel
said, "A library is a special, magical place for kids. I remember my
first library card."
   
The branch has an increase in books and
programs, including computers and free wireless Internet service, said
Hertel. Books were bought during the closure and just waiting to be put
on shelves. Getting the shelving was traumatic, however, when freight
was stuck in Iowa for a week during recent storms and subsequent
flooding. When the shelves did arrive, staff and volunteers had to move
quickly for the opening. Friends of the Library, led by President Pat
Brooks, were on hand every step of the way along with the others.
   
What
was supposed to have been an expansion became a brand-new building from
the ground up. According to Architect Doug Skelton (of Skelton, Straus,
Seibert Architects and Planners LLP) it was more economical for the
contractor "to knock it down and replace the entire structure." There
was also a problem with the studs. Although residents comment on the
large size, the new 5,646 sq. ft. library is only twice as large as the
old one. The massive roof structure gives the impression of a much
larger building.
   
The library, designed in a Cascadian
style, is reminiscent of a mountain lodge with the use of stone and
timber. Skelton said a group consisting of library and community folks
asked for a design that would complement the mountains and reflect that
Shady Cove is the gateway to Crater Lake. A floor to ceiling window
showcases the mountains.
   
Skelton has designed 13 of the
Jackson County Libraries. In each case the community asked for a style
indicative of their surroundings. For example, Skelton said Eagle Point
Library is a "Craftsman" style and Gold Hill has a historical look
based on the original train station. Because Butte Falls did not own
their library, the funding was used to purchase the building and
renovate it for energy efficiency.
   
The funding for the
libraries was from a $38.9 million bond measure in May 2000. The
measure paid for the construction or renovation of 14 county libraries.
The Shady Cove final contract amount was $1,111,312 according to
Builder Aaron Ausland of Grants Pass.
   
An enthusiastic
Ausland said, "The library is quite possibly the top two or three
architecturally interesting and beautiful (library) buildings and
definitely in the top ten for sure." He cited the inside as being
particularly spectacular with a stunning entrance. A meeting room and
kitchen offers the convenience of a microwave and refrigerator. It is
an energy efficient, "green" building with electronic windows for the
maintaining of comfortable temperatures. The completion was two months
ahead of schedule and under budget, Ausland said.
   
The long
awaited day was emotional and a dream come true for staff and patrons.
Hertel said she is honored and delighted to be part of the new library.
"I was at the right place at the right time." She summed it up for
everyone when she said with glistening eyes, "It’s so wonderful."
   
The
formal grand opening is July 11at 10:00 a.m. New hours are 12:00 p.m.
to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays; 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays; and
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Fridays.
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent   

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