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Re-opening is scheduled for Thursday morning as last-minute work is done to ready the facility.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - The Cornelius Public Library is being set up at Cornelius Place, 1310 N. Adair St. It will open to patrons this week.At 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, a new era for the Cornelius Public Library officially begins.

The library has been closed for the past week and a half. Books, furniture, equipment and other library materials have been moved into the ground floor of the new, three-story Cornelius Place building at the corner of North Adair Street and 14th Avenue. The finishing touches were done Monday, Feb. 25, and Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The library re-opens in a space nearly five times larger, at 14,000 square feet, than the roughly 3,000-square-foot wing of the Cornelius Civic Center it formerly occupied.

The move is significant for the library, even though it's still on the same block. The new location is immediately south of the old one, with an alleyway and parking area separating the two buildings.

According to library director Karen Hill, the new space will allow the Cornelius Public Library to significantly expand its inventory of books. It will also be able to use the larger space to offer a wider range of programming, with a new adult services librarian expected to put together events and workshops for the library's older patrons.

In a novel arrangement, Cornelius shares the three-story building with nonprofit partner BRIDGE Housing. The library is on the ground floor of Cornelius Place, while the second and third floors host 45 apartment units, all but one of which are being leased out as "affordable housing" for low-income seniors.

Officials from both the city and BRIDGE have expressed optimism that the library will provide a community and activity space for building residents, and that at least some of those residents will end up volunteering at the library and assisting students from neighboring Cornelius Elementary School and beyond.

By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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