Construction Updates

Floorplan of New Library

October Update

by Tevis Laspa

In the last 3 weeks, the former Ridgefield Community Center building has changed in undeniable ways! Perhaps now you can imagine how much bigger and better the new Ridgefield Community Library will be.

The exterior “skin” of the building has been removed including siding, windows, and doors. Approximately 50% of the roof structure has also been removed in anticipation of raising the roof to make the new library open and airy.

It doesn’t get more open and airy than this!

Supporting the new roof will be new steel vertical supports that will hold a new large glulam beam in the center of the building running north and south. This beam will support the east and west roof trusses. The west roof trusses will be reused; the east trusses will be new.

The contractor spokesman—Ryan—from Union Corner Construction, explained their next steps. Through the end of October, their focus will be on the plumbing and electrical infrastructure. This means that all the pipes and cables will be run to their end points. The outlets, switches, lights, toilets, sinks, and other bits are not installed until after insulation and sheet rock installation.

The window contractor is also expected to install windows towards the end of the month.

We have all worked a very long time for this new, bigger, and better Ridgefield library. The evidence of our collective vision (and fortitude to see it through) is now incontrovertible. It’s happening, library lovers!

September Update

by Tevis Laspa

A little over ten percent of the renovation project is complete. You may not have seen much happening on the outside, but the demolition company, the Wrecking Crew, has been very busy on the inside of the building.

The interior has been reduced to the studs. The north hip roof will come off soon to extend the west roof line up to the sidewalk. The east roof will be removed in its entirety to raise the inside space approximately two feet.

The "skeleton" of the building

In addition to the demolition work, the same company is preparing the site for the plumbers. They have cut the floor to allow for new plumbing in the areas that need underground drain lines.

You may have noticed that Main Street was closed for a day or two just a while ago. A new two-inch water line was brought into the property. Plumbers were on site the day after Labor Day starting to put the new pipes in the ground.

Channels cut through the floor for underground plumbing

With every building project - especially a remodel of an existing building - unexpected or confounding issues will arise. One concern from the beginning was the contaminated ground water from Park Dry Cleaners. This contaminated water exists but is down eight feet. Since there are no excavations over four feet, there is no worry of coming into contact with this area. To date, all other issues arising from the remodel have been small and easily resolved.

Delivering this project within the 270-day time frame is something everyone is taking seriously. Activity was happening in the building during the Labor Day weekend and Labor Day. Library staff, Friends of Ridgefield Community Library, and everyone who has helped this dream become a reality should be quite pleased with this remarkable progress!

August Update

by Tevis Laspa

What’s happening to the Ridgefield Community Library?

The former Ridgefield Community Center/Library building is undergoing a major rebuild. A local design firm, Battle Ground architects Johansson-Wing completed the drawings a while ago. In addition to typical delays for permits and approvals, the 2020 pandemic deferred this project until now.

The demolition permit was issued by the City of Ridgefield to begin this renovation. Asbestos testing was completed, a security fence was installed Tuesday, August 16. An additional security fence was installed around the old Public works building across the street. This building will be used as construction HQ, equipment and raw material storage.

The demolition contractor, “The Wrecking Crew,” began their work Wednesday, August 19. Demolition should take about two weeks to complete. During this process, the power and water are shut off to the building.

FVRL facilities director David Josephson and Union Corner construction supervisor, Rick Samaduroff , discussing next steps.

The Ridgefield Library’s temporary location is the former Umpqua bank building on the corner of 3rd and Simmons.

Five years of planning, fundraising, and community support have led us to this point. Remember all those fun fundraisers when we gathered and laughed together? In this unprecedented time of isolation, let’s look forward together with enthusiasm to this community treasure!