The Deschutes Public Library held an open house at the Larkspur Community Center Monday night to show details of Bend’s upcoming 100,000-square-foot Stevens Ranch Library.
“Just really exciting to share with the public what we’ve been planning and designing based on all their input over the last few years, and so we’re just here to get comments from people and hear what they think,” said Deschutes Public Library Director Todd Dunkelberg.
In November 2020, voters approved a $195 million bond measure for a new library building.
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More than 50 people came to hear the presentation on what the new eastside library will be like.
“We also made the book drops kind of a fun element, given that there’s going to be a glass wall there, that we’re implementing an automated material handling machine,” said an architect from Steele Associates Architect. “So, kids will be able to see their book go in the book drop and then get sorted on the conveyor belt.”
Once the presentation concluded, architects sectioned off the room by topic, and the public spoke openly, asking questions.
“I’m very happy,” said Marisa Hossick, who lives near the planned library. “I love the lead certification attentions, the position of the building, the spaces and design inside. Every age group represented. It was way more than what I was expecting.”
Stevens Ranch Library is being built on Wilderness Way and 27th Street. It’s part of the Stevens Road Tract Concept plan.
The library will take up about nine acres and the city plans to develop about 260 acres of housing nearby.
“We’re still in the design process, so this is a good time if there are things we want to change or adjust to have that discussion now because pretty soon, we’ll get to a point where we have to move forward with the plans,” said Dunkelberg.
The library is hoping to break ground next February and having the building open by winter 2025-26
Currently, the Deschutes Public Library pays rent for its East Bend Library, which opened in 2011. It’s located off Dean Swift Road and Highway 20.