Board votes to cover funding gap on construction of new Gladstone, Oak Lodge libraries


Shelves lined with books

The Clackamas Board of County Commissioners is making good on its promise to improve the library system in Gladstone and Oak Lodge.

At a business meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, the board approved a motion to fill the remaining balance on construction of new Gladstone and Oak Lodge libraries with a one-time cash payment from the Clackamas County general fund. The exact amount will be contingent on final construction costs, which staff will calculate in the next 60 days.

The current libraries in Gladstone and Oak Lodge are in poor condition and don’t meet the diverse needs of residents. The two new library facilities will be jointly operated to maximize efficiency, achieve economies of scale and provide high-quality, consistent services to all.

Clackamas County had been working with the community for years to plan and design the new libraries before construction was halted in 2022 due to cost escalations and market volatility. Despite receiving funding from a variety of sources, including the state legislature and the federal American Rescue Plan Act, the project still had an $8.1 million funding gap based on March 2022 construction estimates.

The board decision to cover that gap passed 5-0 and was met with enthusiastic applause from a crowd of dedicated library advocates. Watch a recording of the business meeting here.

Construction dates for both libraries are to be determined. Stay up to date the project’s progress.