County breaks ground on $52M Albina Library expansion project in NE Portland

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 7:58 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Crews broke ground Wednesday on an expansion project for the historic Albina Library in northeast Portland.

Communities across Multnomah County came together to discuss what they would like in the new space. The 30,000-square-foot building will have a courtyard, study spaces and updated technology.

But it comes with a hefty price tag of $52 million, with most of that money going to construction

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Along with the Albina branch, renovations are also being done at the Midland and Holgate libraries, which means all three will be closed.

Vailey Oehlke, Multnomah County Library director, says the goal of working on multiple projects at once is to avoid prolonging the work which is expected to take several months.

However, libraries have become important to community members and the most vulnerable during hot temperatures for summer cooling centers. Some may wonder where they can go when it gets too hot and the nearest open library would be the Hollywood Library.

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“We’ve opened up a tech space that is a block away from there and that space will be available,” Oehlke said. “It’s going to have charging for people, have Internet access and collection access. So were definitely trying to figure out ways to address that as those buildings close.”

In the meantime, Multnomah County says they will have a mobile library going throughout the community and continue neighborhood gatherings.

“We’re really focusing on other spaces, Hollywood and Kenton, and making sure that there is robust as possible,” Oehlke said.