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An Expanded Vision for Deschutes Public Libraries

Library releases a capital plan outlining renovations, expansions

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It's no secret that Bend is growing big—fast. As businesses, contractors, and schools are rushing to keep up, the Deschutes Public Library is no exception, launching its new expansion plan for the libraries in Bend, Redmond, Sisters and La Pine. DPL has an average of 2,300 people visiting its locations every day, making it the third-largest service population for libraries in Oregon.  

Under the new plan, the Downtown Bend library would undergo renovations to modernize its facilities and expand services. - KATE COACH
  • Kate Coach
  • Under the new plan, the Downtown Bend library would undergo renovations to modernize its facilities and expand services.

To address the growing need in the community, DPL’s Facilities Capital Plan, released Nov. 19, outlines a plan for larger spaces and updated technology, renovating all locations and adding a Central Library which will serve to support all other locations. Most of the library system’s buildings were built in the ‘90s, before modern technology. In the new renovation plan, DPL plans to accommodate spaces suited for tech to support the changing times.  

A city-to-city comparison

More expanded services and space could put DPL’s system more on par with other library systems of similar size. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, population estimates for July 2017 show Bend had a population of 94,520, a 23 percent increase from the 2010 census.

According to data from the same period, Sandy Springs, Ga. had a population estimate of just over 94,000—a population similar to Bend. This August, Sandy Springs started a renovation on one of its many separate public libraries at a cost of about $3.4 million. The town and its close neighbors have 10 libraries. The local library system, comprising of Bend, Redmond and Sisters, has six.   

Expanding Library Spaces

According to DPL, many public libraries in other cities have spaces for preforming arts and maker spaces. Under its new plan, DPL would add more areas for this kind of public use, as well as larger spaces for its well-loved and popular programs. Basic updates, meeting rooms, more shelf space and better tech are all part of the planned upgrades to the Deschutes Public libraries in the coming years.  

Three big changes: Moving the East Bend library, renovating the Downtown Bend library and expanding the Redmond location. The East Bend Library's lease will expire in 2021 and the plan is move it to a different location and turn it in to a central library that will have at least 95,000 square feet. DPL’s three other locations—including Sisters, Sunriver and La Pine—would undergo more basic renovations under the plan.  

Projected Costs

The project projection estimated that the Downtown Bend location will cost anywhere from $8.7-$12.1 million to renovate. The Redmond location, which would expand by 40,000 SF, will cost an estimated $31.5-$35.6 million. The new Central location would cost somewhere from $74.6 million to $90.4 million and the other three locations will cost an estimated $5.5 million combined. This brings the project total to at least $118 million. According to DPL, the funds needed for upgrades will come through fundraising and grants—adding to the $2.8 million DPL has already saved for the projects.  

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