Woodland’s future library has a place to call home.
Officials of Fort Vancouver Regional Library District announced Monday that they have completed the purchase of 2.4 acres as the site for the new Woodland Community Library.
The library district bought the property at 828 Goerig St. for just over $1 million.
The deal gives grass-roots supporters of a new Woodland library the answer for a FAQ, or frequently asked question.
When Friends of Woodland Community Library have been out in the community, staffing information tables and meeting people who are curious about the project, “That’s their very first question,” said Shirley Clukey, president of the Friends group.
“I think it’s going to help a lot,” Clukey said after the library district issued a news release Monday. “We’ve always known when we’re able to tell people we have a site, we will get even greater support.”
“Having selected a site is great news,” Rick Smithrud, executive director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation, said in the press release. “It sets the stage for the community and local businesses to come together and show their support for building a new library.”
Fort Vancouver Regional Library District trustees voted unanimously at their May 15 meeting in La Center to purchase the property, currently the location of Woodland Funeral Home.
“We’re excited to complete this important first step in providing a modern library for the people of Woodland,” Amelia Shelley, the district’s executive director, said in the news release.
“The library’s role has grown beyond books, resources and programs, to depend on other library services such as access to meeting and study rooms, as well as internet access and computers,” Shelley said.
“By building a new library in the center of Woodland we will be meeting those needs while providing a space that will be adaptive not just to new technology, but also responsive to the changing needs of a growing community.”
The current Woodland Community Library, 770 Park St., was built in 1909. It has 2,376 square feet on two levels. A 2014 facilities study recommended a new Woodland library of 10,239 square feet.
There is no immediate timetable for taking over the property. The family trust that has owned and operated the Woodland Funeral Home since 1949 will lease back the location from the library district while looking to relocate the business.
Fort Vancouver will eventually construct a new 10,000-square-foot library on the property.
The 2.4 acres is actually more property than required for a new library; the library district plans to subdivide the acreage and sell the unused portion of the property.