An expansion project that will nearly double the size of the Ocean Park Timberland Library is launching with a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 25, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Timberland Regional Library Board of Trustees members, Library Manager Iver Matheson, Acting Library Director Gwen Culp, and local dignitaries will participate in the public event. Light refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Ilwaco and Ocean Park Timberland Libraries in the library meeting room after the ceremony.

The project and need

An addition to the back (South) side of the library will expand the interior space from 3,240 to 5,932 square feet. Construction is expected to begin later this month and be completed by early 2013. Meanwhile, the library will remain open throughout construction except for short periods toward the end of the project.

“This project addresses the heavy use and congestion in the current facility and builds a library that will meet the needs of the entire community,” said Timberland Regional Library Acting Director Gwen Culp. The population has outgrown its library, which is 27 years old. The library is an active part of the community with a variety of groups using the meeting room, programs such as monthly book discussions, and an annual youth summer reading program currently in full swing. The expansion will relieve the crowding, provide people the opportunity to linger comfortably, and allow library staff to offer better service.

Short history

“There has been a library in Ocean Park for over 125 years,” said the library’s manager Iver Matheson. “It started as a small collection of books moving from house to house. By 1940 the library had found a permanent home in Ocean Park Elementary. In 1968, the library became part of the Timberland Regional Library system,” said Matheson.

The current library was built and opened in June 1985. The land on which the addition is being built was purchased by TRL in 2000.

Highlights of the new space

Improvements will include both new and expanded quiet reading spaces, a separate teen area (currently part of the children’s area), a larger children’s space, additional computer stations, and a larger staff workroom to process library items. The project also will include additional shelving and all new furnishings.

New seating areas in the back of the new space will provide wooded views looking much they do today. In the vision for the future, but not yet funded, is a patio and garden.

Cost and funding

Timberland Regional Library chose the Holmberg Company’s bid of $579,000 plus tax, which was the lowest. Holmberg is a Kirkland, Washington-based construction company. The architect is Frank Densmore of the Olympia-based Archos Corporation. As the Ocean Park library is a TRL-owned facility, the cost will be paid by the library system.

The Ocean Park Timberland Library is located at 1308 256th Place, Ocean Park. For more information, please contact the library at (360) 665-4184 or go to www.TRL.org.

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