Ridgefield, Woodland libraries get design priority


Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (FVRL) has retained FFA Architecture and Interiors Inc. of Portland to perform pre-design work for potential new or expanded libraries in Ridgefield, Woodland and Washougal.

A facilities study completed in 2013 by planning consultant BergerABAM of Vancouver ranked those projects among the most needed throughout the district.

Work to be performed by FFA Architecture will include gathering data and input about community needs, conducting public and stakeholder meetings and focus groups in each community during the summer, sharing a preliminary report with the public in August, and presenting a final report to the library district’s board of trustees in September, according to a news release from the district.

“We are very pleased to be working with principal Troy Ainsworth and his team at FFA,” FVRL Executive Director Nancy Tessman said in the release. “They bring a wealth of experience with library design and pre-design to our process.

“We were especially impressed by the high level of community involvement they proposed,’’ Ainsworth said. “This is in sync with our own commitment to find clear pathways forward that work for each of these three unique communities.”

The study, commissioned by FVRL, calls for building new libraries in Ridgefield and Woodland at an estimated cost of $3.75 million apiece. The report also calls for expanding the Battle Ground Community Library, with land acquisition to cost about $165,000.

Those were among 40 potential projects suggested by BergerABAM, which spent the past year researching needs throughout the library district. The goal was to find out how to provide better access to services and collections for the 448,000 residents in four counties served by the district, according to FVRL spokeswoman Sue Vanlaanen.

Construction is a long way off, she said, if it occurs at all. The library district could contribute $500,000 to both the Ridgefield and Woodland facilities, but the rest of the cost would have to be paid through other sources, the study determined.

BergerABAM’s study put much of the financial burden on city residents, with a $1,150,000 voter-approved bond recommended in Ridgefield and a $970,000 bond in Woodland.

The firm said almost half of the construction cost should come from donations by individuals or corporations – $1.9 million for the Woodland project and $1.7 million for Ridgefield. The study called philanthropy “a critical component of the funding framework.”

Other funding sources could be state capital grants, local real estate excise taxes and impact fees, the consulting firm said.


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