New Ridgefield Community Library to open on July 9

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The Ridgefield Community Library will hold a grand opening celebration on July 9 after nearly a year of construction.

Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries expanded the library from a 2,300-square-foot-space in the former Ridgefield Community Center to a 8,000-square-foot building.

“The new library combines elements of the previous building with new construction to create a beautiful new centerpiece to downtown Ridgefield,” stated a news release.

The expanded library has a large community meeting space, several study rooms, additional computers and laptops, as well as separate areas for teens, children and adults.

The new building was designed by Johansson Wing Architects of Battle Ground. The general contractor for the project was Union Corner Construction of Vancouver. Donations from a variety of organizations, the state of Washington and the City of Ridgefield helped complete the project.

“It’s amazing to watch so many individuals, businesses and organizations from Ridgefield and beyond show their generosity and support for building a bigger, better library,” said Rick Smithrud, executive director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation. “When a project like this comes along and strengthens the community and benefits future generations, everyone wants to be part of it.”

The project saw strong support from the Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library, who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and also raised public awareness of the new building.

Jeanne Androvich, president of the friends group, said 75 individuals and businesses donated $1,000 each and brought in over $350,000 in community support. 

The grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting will be held during the Ridgefield Main Street Day in downtown on July 9 at 10:30 a.m.

The library will also host events and activities for children and families throughout the day. Limited in-person service will begin on July 9 and small group tours will be offered if COVID-19 regulations permit it.

Early discussions about a larger library began as part of a facilities study in 2013, stated the release. A pre-design study was completed in 2014. FBRLibraries set aside funds for the new location and worked with stakeholders to identify a suitable site, while the Friends of the Ridgefield Community Library and Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation began fundraising efforts. Through negotiations, the Ridgefield Community Center Association donated its property in 2018, which allowed the library to remodel the space and expand services at the location.

The donation was finalized in 2019 and community feedback was solicited on the library design.

The remodeling and new construction started in August 2020.

The reopening of the permanent home of the library in downtown Ridgefield will lead to the close of its temporary location at 228 Simons St. on June 3.

Both locations will remain closed until June 7, according to a news release, when curbside service will start at the permanent location at 210 N. Main Ave. in Ridgefield.

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