Illinois Valley Branch Library set for remodel and expansion

The expansion and remodel of the Illinois Valley Branch Library building is getting closer.
If you are one of the people that shared your ideas and visions of what the I.V. branch of our public library could be, then you’ll be happy to know that Josephine County Library is planning to move ahead with the renovation of the current building.
Teresa Stover, library block grant administrator, outlined the remodel: “In partnership with the city of Cave Junction, Josephine Community Library is expanding the current 4,264-square-foot Illinois Valley Branch Library to 5,779 square feet.”
Stover also explained that the library, located at 209 W. Palmer in Cave Junction, will include a new 1,515-square-foot multipurpose meeting space that will hold up to 80 people and be accessible to groups during and after library open hours. The addition will also include a demonstration kitchen. The children’s library will be expanded as an early learning center with a maker space, with more room for books and other creative activities. There will be a new outdoor children’s learning area set up for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) programs.
For adults, the expansion will accommodate more books, Library of Things items, computers, charging stations, and other vital technology and access to information. “Greater energy efficiency will be possible with the renovation, as well as accessibility for people with disabilities, and structural upgrades for earthquake resistance,” said Stover.

I.V. Branch Library services manager Roberta Lee said, “I’m looking forward to serving our community with a new meeting space, but I’m really excited about how the renovation will improve our kid spaces. The children’s room will increase in size to provide a family space for decades to come and we’ll open up a new space for young adults to participate in classes, gatherings and gaming.”
Stover indicated that the library renovation project is on schedule with ZCS Engineering & Architecture having completed the design development drawings in February. “The city of Cave Junction is currently reviewing the project’s zoning permit application and the library is working with ZCS to finalize details about the design, features, and finishes. After the construction drawings finish in May, the project will be submitted to Josephine County for the building permit and will go to bid. Groundbreaking for the library renovation will take place around September and, if all goes well with labor, materials, and weather, the library renovation could open by the summer of 2024.”
The renovation represents a major investment in our community. Many funding sources make up an interlocking network of money including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Block Grant awarded to the city of Cave Junction and administered by Business Oregon.
“The library has also received grants for this project from the Carpenter’s Foundation and from the American Rescue Plan Act via Rep. Lily Morgan and the Oregon State Legislature,” said Stover, adding, “Most significantly, many generous donors in the Illinois Valley and throughout Josephine County responded in a big way to the 2021 community crowdfunding. Because of our local residents, the library renovation project is fully funded.”
Stover said that the features of the renovation are a direct result of thoughtful input from Illinois Valley citizens who participated in public meetings and surveys about what they want to see in their local library branch. With the city of Cave Junction, Josephine Community Library, and Business Oregon all working together, this project is an outstanding example of the power of community partnerships. “Together, we’ll make sure we have an up-to-date library with the books, technology, programs, and services that will serve our residents for generations to come. Keep up with project progress at https://jclfoundation.org/illinois-valley.”