Construction Updates

March update

By Tevis Laspa

The transformation of the Ridgefield Community Center into the bigger and better Ridgefield Community Library is entering its final stages. The contractor estimates that the building will be 90% complete by the end of March. Delivery and set-up of shelving and furniture will take place later.

The brick work (largely on the Main Street side) is complete. The exterior siding will be done by the time you read this. Galvanized metal canopies are being installed as you read this. Exterior painting is scheduled to happen during the week of March 15. The exterior lights will be installed after the paint is dry. A few glass windows in the storefront still need to be installed.

Inside the building, the reception counter is complete, and various cabinetry is being affixed. The plumbing fixtures are also being installed. Before St. Patrick’s Day, all of the ceiling tiles will be up and the carpet will be down. A big sliding glass partition will be installed after the carpet is laid. Window shades are also being mounted.

The hearing loop system (for those who are hearing impaired) is being set up in the community room.

It won’t be long until we’ll be celebrating the opening of our spectacular new library and the people like you who helped make it happen!


By Tevis Laspa

You’ll notice some big changes to the exterior of our library this month. The new exterior siding is already up on the back of the building and will be installed on the north-facing side this week. The thin brick façade for the NW corner and along the west side of the library (facing the post office) will be installed later this month. Once all the exterior surfaces are up, the canopies will be installed.

Nearly all of the exterior windows are now in. The main entrance has two special “store front” windows that have yet to be installed. They are now in transit and should be installed by the end of the month.

Just as the outside of the library is undergoing a remarkable transformation, the inside the building is looking more and more finished. The painting is complete. Lights are being installed. Cabinets will be installed later this month. The tile work in the bathrooms is nearly complete. After the tile work, vinyl flooring will be installed. The main floor carpeting will be one of the last items to be installed.

Throughout this project, Union Corner Construction has kept the work site safe, uncluttered, tidy. The floors are clean, raw materials are neatly stacked, and remnant materials are removed to the adjacent storage area. Anyone who has experience with construction projects knows how rare and wonderful a neat work site is. It’s a real pleasure for people coming in to inspect (or report on) the progress. Thanks guys!

January update

By Tevis Laspa

Happy New Year! With mid-May as the estimated completion date for our new, bigger, better library, how can this year be anything but happy for all of us who have helped to make this dream a reality?

There is still a great deal of work left to do both inside and out before the library will be open for business. For example, the interior walls must be finished, final doors and windows must be installed, and the exterior façade must be addressed.

Crews have been busily installing 5/8”-thick sheet rock on the interior of the building. This product, which provides an increased level of fire protection, is thicker than the residential standard of half an inch. A normal “orange peel” texture will be applied to the wall surfaces later this month. Painting of the sheet rock is scheduled for the end of the month. In the large adult area, the natural wood (fir) has received two coats of a clear satin sealer. The fir will naturally age and turn a golden color in about 20 years.

Several hollow-metal doors will be installed next week. The aluminum storefront window assemblies will be installed at the end of the month. If you’re wondering how workers are staying warm on these raw days with just plastic covering large openings where these windows and doors will go, worry not! Although the HVAC system is in and operational, a portable heater is being used until the building is completed to keep construction dust, paint, and other particulates out of the air system.

On the outside of the building, you may have noticed that the dark brown roof is almost completed. Finishing the flashing and installing the gutters will complete that job. The crews are starting the exterior siding and brick work. Concrete backer board for the thin brick has already been mounted.

Before you know it, Spring will have sprung and our new library will be done! In the meantime, I’ll be sure to let you know what’s happening.

December update

(part two)

By Tevis Laspa

So much is happening so quickly with the library construction project that another update this month seemed like a good idea. And good news around the holidays is never a bad idea! So, sit back with your steaming cup of your preferred hot beverage and enjoy reading about how YOUR new Ridgefield Community Library is taking shape.

The library is now “dried in.” If that sounds like terrific progress to you, it is! The building’s exterior is sealed so that heat can now be used to dry out all the rain and excess moisture that made its way inside the building. Insulation has been installed, and sheet rock will be mounted later in December. At that point, the layout and “feel” of the library will be more apparent to those not accustomed to reading building plans and blueprints.

Fire sprinklers, HVAC, and electricity installations are approximately 90% complete.

Work on the exterior siding—a lap siding similar to hardie board plank—will begin later this month. There will be a thin veneer of brick on the northwest corner of the building. This decorative element will extend from the west entrance to the north entrance.

Did you notice metal flashing being installed at the drip line of the roof last week? The flashing is to keep the rain from entering the building. It needed to be in place before the new metal roof goes up before December is over.

“Enthusiasm is the very propeller of progress.”

B.C. Forbes

So, that’s why this building project is advancing so quickly!

December update

(part one)

By Tevis Laspa

If the rainy autumn weather has thwarted any of your outdoor projects, you’ll understand that the swift pace we’ve seen on the library construction project has been dampened. But just a bit!

Rick Samaduoff, the site manager, and Ryan Edwards, Rick’s assistant, (both of Union Corner Construction) kindly provided this update.

Three weeks of rain could have spelled disaster for the adult fiction area. This area has large fir glulam beams topped by vertical-grain fir roof substrate. Luckily, the rain did not penetrate the plastic sheeting used to protect the wood from being water stained. During a weekend break in the weather, crews worked Saturday and Sunday to install a new, super-thin membrane roof. There are now roof drains in the corners that dump the rainwater into the storm drainage system underground.

Protecting this magnificent wooden ceiling from rainwater damage was paramount.

Before any windows can be mounted, a blue waterproofing/vapor barrier paint system must be installed. This product is called DryVit. The seams are sealed with a fabric tape, then two coats of paint are applied. This material replaces the tar paper or plastic Tyvek that is commonly found in residential construction. In the photo on the roof (below), you can see the new windows being installed.

Whether the day is sunny or cloudy, natural light will flood the center of the library.

By the end of November, work should have started on installing a metal roof on the steeper roof sections. The rough installation of the fire sprinkler system should be finished, and other ground-level windows should be installed.

Unless, of course, the weather has other plans for our spectacular library’s progress! Keep your fingers crossed!

November update

by Tevis Laspa

If you haven’t been by the construction site lately, you’ll be surprised to see that the structure looks nothing like the former Ridgefield Community Center. The building now reveals the shape and dimensions of your new library! Most noticeable are the striking roof design and large windows that will make this one-story library feel expansive and open.

This is the architectural rendering of the new library as it faces Mill Street.

And this is what the building looks like as of October 31, 2020.

Union Corner Superintendent, Rick Samaduoff, provided a brief overview of what’s been happening during October.

Currently the raised roof structure is being installed over the adult fiction area. This is the area where the roof trusses were completely removed in the old community center to allow the roof to be raised for a lighter, airier feeling. There are new 27-inch glulam beams installed running east to west. On top of that, 2 ½ inch tongue-and-groove decking was installed. Plywood and six inches of rigid insulation will be installed over the decking. Finally, a thick roof membrane will be glued down and screwed in place. That should allow the building to be dried in by November 10.

The existing roof on the Main Avenue side is currently being supported by a temporary wall. There is a 30-inch glulam beam running north and south. This beam will hold up the east and west roof permanently, allowing the temporary wall to be removed.

The roughed-in plumbing is complete. Roughed-in electric and HVAC (heat, ventilation & air conditioning) systems are targeted for completion in mid-November. And all those marvelous windows are coming soon.

Here’s another architectural rendering of your library from a Main and Mill vantage point. It’s perfectly all right to get excited now (if you’re not already)!

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!