PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Holgate Library is about to get a major upgrade. Multnomah County Library broke ground Friday morning on the project that will triple the size of the current building. 

The county said this is one of the first of its library building projects. 

Right now, the Holgate Library is contained to a 6,400 square-foot space. The new building will hold 21,000 square feet of books, computers and other resources for the community. 

The Holgate Library supports one of the most culturally diverse areas in the region, Multnomah County Library said. To best serve its patrons, the library brought in Community Design advocates to connect with communities and determine how the new library can represent them. 

Paid teens from the Your Street, your Voice design program gathered innovative ideas for teen spaces in the library. 

Based on community input collected through focus groups, public meetings, surveys, workshops and more, the county decided the new library will feature a large play and learning space for children and families, and a dedicated teen room with space for technology, homework and creative expression. 

The library will have multiple flexible programming and meeting rooms, and updated technology and internet. 

Its outdoor plaza will serve as a place for community members to relax and connect. There will be an exterior mural on the building, along with bike parking and trash receptacle. 

There will also be a mural inside the building that represents the community. 

The building will use solar panels to help offset its energy use. 

“The improvements at Holgate Library are going to be truly transformational,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “To go from a small, 6,400 square-foot space to two stories and 21,000 square feet, it’s the perfect example of how library spaces can — and should — change and grow alongside the community.” 

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson planned to join the groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning, along with Oehlke, incoming District 3 Commissioner Diane Rosenbaum, Department of County Assets Director Tracey Massey, and Marih Alyn-Claire and Illona Kornienko from Community Design Advocates. 

The Holgate Library closed to begin the construction process on Dec. 5, 2022. It’s scheduled to reopen in spring 2024. 

Library patrons are encouraged to visit other nearby libraries while the Holgate Library is closed. There are also several resources available on Multnomah County Library’s Website. 

The project will cost approximately $27 million.