A site for the new voter-approved Central Library in Bend may have been found.
Wednesday the library board made a tentative offer on the land near Wilderness Way and 27th Street.
“This is actually a property we looked at a few years ago and it was not available, it was owned by the State of Oregon at the time,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “So, this is a great opportunity that opened up.”
The area is located in the Stevens Road Tract Concept Plan and is about 9.3 acres with a cost of $10.2 million..
The Library had entered into agreement with the land owner and will now be in a 90-day “Due Diligence”, making sure the land fits its criteria.
“There will be about fourteen hundred new residences just in that area alone,” said Dunkelberg. “Biking paths, connections to existing neighborhoods, new parks and new schools. So, it is a pretty exciting location.”
A few people at the downtown library location are excited about the idea of a new library on the Southeast part of Bend
“I think that gives them more opportunity to read more,” said young Juniper Brown from Bend.
Others agree it will be a good resource, but are not in favor of this location being the Central Library.
“I’m a little concerned making that the main branch being outside of town,” said Lebn Lovejoy of Bend. “Personally I would be more in favor of these, like smaller local branches to reach out into the communities.”
They originally wanted to put the new library on the North side, outside the city, but had to switch gears after the city council didn’t support the library’s request for an exception to develop the property near Robal Road and Hwy. 20.
“We will have to modify our designs,” said Dunkelberg. “We had some designs for the previous and really seeing what fits best and what we can afford as well.”
The board is expected to meet again in September for a final decision on the site.
In November 202, voters approved a $195 million bond measure for a new building.
Upgrades to existing libraries were also included and Dunkelberg says construction for a new facility in Redmond is expected in February and remodeling of the Sisters, La Pine and Sunriver libraries also expected next year.