Latest News on Library Expansion

Construction Cam Picture of the Library in September 2015

Check out the Library Construction Camera!

Watch the building project progress!


The Transportation Study is now available:


Two excellent articles about Carnegie Libraries:

'Second Edition: New Life for Holyoke Public Library', by Amy Sutherland, from Preservation, July 1, 2014

'How Andrew Carnegie Built the Architecture for American Literacy', by Kriston Capps, from The Atlantic CityLab, October 28, 2014

January, 2015:

The architects have been working on further developing the City Commissions' preferred two-story option. The Library Project Team also met with City Land Use for the required Pre-Application meeting to get feedback on all land-use topics. The package of materials for the review process is being assembled and approval from the City Commission will be sought on January 21 to move from schematic design into design development and to start the public review process. The Team has met with McLoughlin Neighborhood Association for the required neighborhood meeting and will be meeting with the Transportation Advisory Committee also. A Community Meeting will be held on January 14 to provide another opportunity for citizens to learn more about the project and provide feedback. Your comments are sought: please contact Library Director Maureen Cole at or 503-657-8269 ext. 1010.

December, 2014:

The architects have been working hard on creating two designs for the two story addition. We are bringing this work to public meetings to share with citizens and get feedback. The next three meetings will be:

12/9 5:30 p.m. City Commission Work Session at City Hall

12/10 5:00 p.m. Library Board at City Hall

12/15 7:00 p.m. Historic Review Board at City Hall

City Hall is located at 625 Center Street in Oregon City. All of these meetings are open to the public. Picture boards of the designs are available at the library. Attached is a power point showing the designs.

We welcome all comments! Please send these to Maureen Cole at or 503.657.8269 ext 101.

October 15, 2014:

After much public input, lengthy discussions, and recommendations from the Library Board, the Building Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the McLoughlin Neighborhood Association, the City Commission of Oregon City decided to move to the next phase of design of the Library Expansion Project with Option 1, a two story building centered behind the existing Carnegie. Work will start immediately on schematic design. It is still unknown if the Library will remain in the Carnegie building during construction.

See Option 1 here... 

The benefits of a 2 story addition are:

-2 story building creates the smallest building footprint and occupies 7500 less square feet of park space

-2 story plan is symmetrical, which is more historically “responsive" to the existing building

-Spray park and playground remain as is

-Maintains the park view corridor along 7th Street by preseringe the iconic tree canopy

-Allows for future expansion

-Maintains the existing Carnegie entry which is desirable from a historical perspective

-Less excavation is required; however, larger footings will be required which could mitigate that benefit.

The Library hopes to break ground in summer, 2015, and move into the new building in summer/fall 2016.

September, 2014:

Scott Edwards Architecture (S /EA), architects for the library expansion project proposed 5 different site options. In essence, these determine the addition's footprint and mass, or where exactly it will be on the park block and if it will be one story or two story.

In response to citizen comments about the playground area, S /EA added a site design which is the reverse of one of the options, Option 4. All of the 6 options were presented to the Library Board, to McLoughlin Neighborhood Association, to the City Commission and at a public Open House at the Library. These are also posted on the Library website (see above) and at the Library.

When the City Commission was shown all of the options at a City Commission Work Session on September 9, the Commission informally agreed on their preferred options, which are Option 1, a two story addition centered behind the existing Carnegie, and Option 4, a one story addition sited mostly in the southeast corner of the park near 6th Street.

Since then, the Library has presented to the Historic Review Board and to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee with all options and images with further study information and suggestions. (see above)

On October 15, Library staff will be back in front of the City Commission to request approval to move from the concept design phase of the project into the schematic design phase with one option. This meeting is located at City Hall and starts at 7:00 p.m.

In the meantime, the Library will meet with the McLoughlin Neighborhood Association again on October 2. The Library Board meeting at City Hall on October 8 will be a joint meeting with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. The discussion about library addition siting starts at 6:00 p.m.

These meetings are public; in addition, there are comment slips at the Library. And feel free to email me, Maureen Cole, at The addition needs to reflect the community-please let me know what you think!

Recent Newspaper Articles

Clackamas Review, October 20, 2014

Oregonian, September 4, 2014

Portland Tribune, May 22, 2014

Oregonian, May 1, 2014

Oregonian, February 5, 2014

Oregonian, January 25, 2014

Oregonian, January 22, 2014

Oregonian, November 12, 2013

Oregonian, June 13, 2013

Oregonian, June 7, 2013

On June 4, 2014, the City Commission approved Resolution 14-13 adopting the Findings in support of alternative Contracting Method for the Renovation and Expansion of the Oregon City Library Project. This is commonly called the CM/GC method of contracting, which features bringing in the contractor very early in the design process to work with the owner (the City) and the architects (SE A and Humphries Poli). The contractor can help inform the decision making process, typically saving funds and avoiding change orders.

On June 18, 2014, the City Commission, at the recommendation of the selection committee, approved the selection of P&C Construction for the construction of the new Library and authorized City Manager David Frasher to execute the CM/GC contract on behalf of the City. 

The Building Committee has started meeting every other week. Building Committee members include Library Director Maureen Cole, Library Manager Lynda Ackerson, City Manager David Frasher, Project Manager Charlie Bahlman (Shiels, Obletz, and Johnsen), Sid Scott and Joan Jasper (SE A), DA Hilderbrand, Library Board, Brian Shaw, Neighbor, and Denise Kai, Assistant Parks Director.

The next step of "programming' has begun. Programming is the process of determining how much space is allotted to each area and which areas are adjacent to each other. 

Visits with Neighborhood Associations by the Library Director and a representative of SE A, the architects have begun.

May, 2014:

On May 20, 2014, Measure 3-435 authorizing up to $6 million in bonds for the construction and expansion of the library at the current site was passed with 67.5% of the voters voting in favor of the measure. Thank you, Oregon City!

What are the next steps? Currently, the City is undergoing to process of selecting and hiring a contractor under a process known as CM/GC. In this process, the contractor comes on very early in the design process in order to provide their expertise and experience and influence design decisions. This process is best when the construction is technical (such as adding to a historic building or keeping the building open during construction) and is known to reduce change orders during construction. Please see this page for more information. The architect or someone from the architectural firm, Scott Edwards Architecture, will be setting up a studio in the Library so that people may discuss what they'd like to see in the Library. Stay tuned for more information on that and other opportunities to contribute ideas for the new library!