The Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation has received a state capital grant of $515,000 to support the construction of the new Woodland Community Library. The foundation is a nonprofit that conducts fundraising on behalf of the FVRLibraries system.
The grant announced Friday was included in a list of capital improvement projects approved in the 2022 Washington supplemental capital budget. It’s the third state grant the Woodland project has received since 2020, amounting to approximately $3 million total over that span, according to the foundation’s executive director, Rick Smithrud. Several private donors have contributed in recent years, as well.
“We are deeply grateful to the Legislature and the governor for this generous grant,” Smithrud said in a press release last week. “Woodland area residents desperately need a larger, more modern library to meet their access to information, technology and meeting space needs.”
Woodland, which is located in both Clark and Cowlitz counties, began identifying the need for a new library facility in 2013. Proponents of the new library say the current facility is too small, physically aging and lacking of the technological resources that are needed to properly support the community in the modern era.
In May 2019, Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries settled on a new location at the corner of Goerig Street and Lakeshore Drive near downtown Woodland, which was previously home to the Woodland Funeral Home. As of December 2021, the new facility is planned to occupy approximately 7,500 square feet, about three times the size of the current building.
Smithrud said that the foundation has raised approximately $5.4 million so far, just short of its $6 million goal. A timetable for a possible groundbreaking once fundraising is complete has yet to be established.
Additional information about the redesign process and renderings of what the new building could look like are available on FVRLibraries’ website: https://www.fvrl.org/imagineWoodland.