Block grant awarded for Illinois Valley Library renovation

December 7, 2021 in

Next year the Illinois Valley branch of Josephine Community Library will see major renovations thanks to a $1.5 million block grant from Business Oregon. Renovations will include the addition of a large community meeting space, a teaching kitchen, outdoor learning area, and children’s maker space.

“It is exciting to see the Community Development Block Grant awarded to the City of Cave Junction for the library renovations,” said state Rep. Lily Morgan. “This project will be a vital piece in serving the community for years to come. I am grateful for the hard work of Josephine Community Library and Mayor Meadow Martell in obtaining this grant.”

The library’s facilities master plan cites safety, space, and maintenance issues in the Illinois Valley library building located at 209 West Palmer in Cave Junction. In partnership with the library, the City of Cave Junction was the lead applicant to Business Oregon for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

With this block grant award, library leaders say all necessary funds are now in place for the project to proceed. The Oregon State Legislature via Rep. Morgan is contributing $900,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) toward the Illinois Valley library renovation. Last summer, a crowdfund raised $110,000 with donors including local community members, Southern Oregon Sanitation, the Carpenter Foundation, and an anonymous donor who matched the entire crowdfund.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to update the Illinois Valley library branch, which is 62 years old, well-loved, and severely worn out,” said Library Director Kate Lasky. “We know that the renovations, based on thoughtful input from local residents, will make a tremendous difference to the people of this community.”

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With the building expansion, the Illinois Valley public will see expanded library services. These include access to more materials and technology, increased capacity for large and small community meetings, new indoor and outdoor learning areas for children, and special programs that support community information needs.

Next steps will include procurement, design development, environmental review, and permitting, with the goal of starting construction in summer 2022. Requests for proposals are expected to be posted in January.

For more information, contact Library Director Kate Lasky at 541-476-0571 ext. 110 or email info@josephinelibrary.org. Visit jclfoundation.org/illinois-valley-library-renovation-project for details.

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