Cornelius’ new library and senior living project, Cornelius Place, has taken a considerable step toward its fundraising goal with a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“There is no better community for this investment,” said Cornelius Library Director Karen Hill in a press release announcing the grant. “The new space is designed to yield some amazing opportunities to provide new and expanded literacy and cultural services to the community,” which has high rates of poverty and illiteracy, she said.

The federal funding is contingent on the project raising $1.5 million from nonfederal donors, which the city of Cornelius has already secured.

According to Hill, the city has already gathered $3.2 million for the library portion of the project, for which it is responsible. This includes $2.4 million in Oregon Lottery Bond funding and about $50,000 in private donations. An additional $260,000 has come from Washington County’s federally funded Community Development Block Grant.

This leaves about $1.6 million left to be raised for the library’s $4.8 million expected construction costs.

The three-story Cornelius Place building is planned for construction beginning December 2016 on the north side of N. Adair Street between N. 13th and N. 14th avenues. It will include the expanded library, along with a community courtyard, conference and study rooms, and a 100-person meeting room. The library will cover almost 14,000 square feet, a major increase over its current 3,000 square feet.

“Many Cornelius residents have no internet access at home and they rely on the library for important tasks like applying for jobs or checking their children’s grades,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici in the release. “This expansion will include a much-needed community space, increase community access to computers, and provide local affordable housing.”

The second and third stories of the building will hold 41 apartments for low-income seniors, funded separately by Bienestar.

As funding like this continues to come in, the city moves farther away from the bond measure voters denied in 2013 that would have kicked off fundraising with $2.4 million. The city planned to resubmit the bond to voters in May 2014, but lottery funding became available and the bond was scrapped.


Original Article

Title: Cornelius library project gets $500K grant, still needs $1.6 million

Date: December 15, 2015

Author: Dillon Pilorget

Publication: The Oregonian/ Oregon Live