Library board members participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on July 10 to commemorate the start of construction on the new library in Williams. Josephine Community Library Foundation has contracted with Vitus Construction, Inc., which started actual construction on Friday. The new library, located at 158 Tetherow Road in Williams, will replace the existing Williams Library located at 20695 Williams Highway one mile away.
“I’ve lived in Josephine County my whole life and have been an avid library user from the time I was a small child,” said State Rep. Lily Morgan. “As its state representative, I see firsthand the needs of Josephine County residents, especially those living in the rural areas like Williams. I’m thrilled that after 45 years, the Williams community will finally have a new library that will more adequately serve its people’s needs with books and other materials, more space for programs and services, and most exciting of all, running water and a bathroom!”
The library foundation purchased the property last year with funds from local donations and a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) via the Oregon State Legislature and Rep. Morgan.
Library leaders have been working with ZCS Engineering & Architecture, Inc. for the past year designing the renovation of the 1000-square-foot building into a public library space.
The existing Williams Library, opened in 1977, is an 864-square foot mobile unit on the property of Williams Elementary School.
“Libraries are the heart of a community,” said Josephine Community Library Foundation board member Sara Katz. “So I couldn’t be more thrilled about our new library in its perfect location nestled between the General Store, the Grange, and the Sugarloaf Community Center, and only a short walk from Williams Elementary.” Ms. Katz has been a Williams resident and business owner for nearly 45 years and is a donor to the New Williams Library.
Construction is scheduled through August, and the grand opening and community celebration will be scheduled for late September.
Funding for the design and construction of the new Williams library has come from local donors, including the community crowdfund that took place last year, raising $140,000. Other funders include Four Way Community Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, A Greater Applegate, Roundhouse Foundation, and the Ford Family Foundation. Josephine County also granted ARPA funds toward this project.
In an agreement with the library, the Three Rivers School District will assume ownership of the old library building and has plans to repurpose it. For more information about the new Williams Library, visit jclfoundation.org.