Deschutes Public Library unveils Stevens Ranch library renderings, sets Monday evening public meeting
(Update: Adding video)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Deschutes Public Library released two renderings Friday and invited the community to a public meeting on Monday evening to learn more about its new location at Stevens Ranch in southeast Bend.
The site, purchased for $10.25 million last fall, sparked some controversy after initial plans to build a promised 'Central Library" across Highway 20 from the Cascade Village Shopping Center fell through due to Bend city councilors refusal to make an exception to land-use planning rules.
The library will host a public event next Monday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. at Larkspur Community Center (1600 SE Reed Market Road in Bend, according to Friday's news release, which continues in full below:
The event will include a presentation from Miller Hull, the project’s architect, and an opportunity to view preliminary renderings. For those unable to attend, the presentation will also be available online after March 17 on the library’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/deschuteslibrary) and through www.deschuteslibrary.org/futurelibraries.
“Central Oregon has grown exponentially since our last library was built nearly 20 years ago,” said Ann Malkin, Library Board president. “We are committed to carrying out the will of Deschutes County voters to create a new library that allows us to increase our collection, adds much-needed public meeting and gathering spaces, and ensures our ability to move items to our other libraries throughout the county quickly and efficiently.”
The Stevens Ranch Library will include 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space on 9.3 acres at the northeast corner of 27th Street and Wilderness Way in Bend.
The state-of-the-art space incorporates community meeting rooms, study rooms, co-working spaces, a children’s discovery center, a teen lounge, a creative DIY zone, outdoor patios and solar-powered EV charging stations.
The new library will allow the Deschutes Public Library system to double the size of its collection and provide quicker processing of materials. The plans are the culmination of a long and thoughtful planning process that incorporated input from more than 6,000 community members.
“I’m excited to share the plans for the Stevens Ranch Library and get input from the public. We believe the new facility will help us improve service to all library users throughout the county,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “The design responds to community feedback for more meeting spaces, play areas and more.
"By doubling our collection, we increase access to materials for all library users. And with more efficient systems, we reduce the amount of time it takes staff to process items, giving the public faster access to materials. The Stevens Ranch Library is going to be a great addition to our system that serves our entire community.”
More than 1,400 new housing units, as well as parks and schools, are planned in the surrounding area. The property is adjacent to wide biking and pedestrian paths that will connect into the Deschutes River Trail.
Construction of the new Stevens Ranch Library is expected to begin in January 2024 and to be complete in early 2026.
In November 2020, Deschutes County voters supported a $195 million bond measure to expand and improve libraries across the county. This includes building a new Central Library at Stevens Ranch in East Bend, rebuilding the library in Redmond, and remodeling and updating existing libraries in downtown Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Sunriver. For more information about these bond-funded projects, visit www.deschuteslibrary.org/futurelibraries