The future of a new Woodland library became physical last week.
During a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Woodland Community Library, dozens gathered to celebrate the turning of dirt on a project years in the making.
Judy Musa, the business development officer for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation, had seeds on hand to plant on the grounds where the new Woodland Community Library will be placed.
“We are growing a new library and we are also growing leaders in our community,” Musa said.
She led off the ceremony that was held to kick off the building of Woodland’s new library. Located on the corner of Goering Street and Lakeshore Drive, the spot is obvious to anyone going into the west side of town.
The 7,500-square-foot building will have different sections, a community room and a children’s area, according to blueprints.
“Libraries are the actual hearts of our community,” Clark County Poet Laureate Armin Tarentino said. “There is no other public space in our community where everyone is welcome and everyone is brought in to be part of the community.”
State Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said libraries don’t just help people learn, but they teach people how to learn.
“Having a building that you can walk into, resources that you can log into, and people you can talk with and learn from on an one-on-one basis is critically important,” Orcutt said.
The project has received millions in funding earmarked by the state Legislature.
The project currently has a $1 million shortfall as documented in provided materials at the ceremony.
Woodland Mayor Will Finn said he has supported the library effort throughout his tenure. Finn pointed out the countless book sales and other drives that have been held by the library’s dedicated volunteers.
“What I’m most excited about is that it’s actually happening,” Finn said.
Finn said the new library would be “an anchor” to the future development of the city’s southernmost interchange with Interstate 5.
Fort Vancouver Regional Library Executive Director Amelia Shelley thanked the Friends of Woodland Library, which has been the fundraising wing for the new building.
“They are the truest, most dedicated group that you could imagine,” Shelley said
She acknowledged that residents pay into the library district via property tax and said that commitment is something special for the city’s residents.
“This palace will be yours,” Shelley said
Woodland Community Librarian Jennifer Hauan remarked on the expansionary aspect of building a new home for the city’s books.
“We’re really excited to see the community come through the doors of a nice, big library, no creaky stairs,” Hauan said.
The library isn’t just for Woodland residents, Hauan said.
“No matter where you go, anybody can come and use this
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