A new public library of approximately 60,000 square feet was proposed as part of the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency's North Anchor project at First Street and B Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego. The new library would replace the current 27,100 square foot library at 4th and D.
According to the 2011 Oregon Public Library Statistical Report, since the current facility opened the number of library cardholders has increased from 17,000 to 29,778; reference questions have increased from 19,651 to 62,494; circulation has risen from approximately 444,000 to 1,350,000; and the library’s collection has grown from 104,276 to 237,180 items. From 1987 to 2012, library materials circulation per capita has risen from 10.2 to 35.3. The Library has an average of approximately 1,000 visitors per day.
The preliminary estimated cost of the library and associated parking is $35 million, excluding site acquisition costs.
To fund a portion of the new library, the City Council referred a $14 million general obligation bond measure to the November 2012 ballot - which did not pass. Bond proceeds would have been added to other funding sources including up to $18 million of urban renewal funds, approximately $2 million of Clackamas County Library District and City library capital funds, and other sources such as donations and proceeds from the sale of the existing library property. Bond proceeds would be used only to fund the new library.
If the measure was approved, bonds would be issued and repaid over 25 years or less. Property owners would pay an estimated 17 cents for every $1,000 of Assessed Value (not Real Market Value). Bond proceeds would be used solely for capital improvements and not used to pay for library staff or the operation of the library.
The voters did not approve the proposed general obligation bond measure to fund the library component of the First Street North Anchor. The Redevelopment Agency has acquired the following three properties to assemble a site that will accommodate the First Street North Anchor Project. A fourth acquisition, a property at the corner of State and B, is pending.
In April 2013, the LORA Board directed Agency staff to prepare a Request for Qualifications to select a developer to redevelop the North Anchor site. It is anticipated that the RFQ will be issued after the site is fully assembled.