The New Cornelius Library: A Literacy Center for the Entire Community
The City of Cornelius’ Main Street District Plan identified the need for a cultural center, including a library.
In 2004, the need for a cultural center and library was identified by the Main Street District Plan. A bond, including the library and community center, failed but resulted in a committee of dedicated volunteers that kept the library and community center vision alive. In 2010, a private donor funded a library feasibility study that included community meetings and a public forum with attendees sharing what features they wanted in the project.
With public support behind them, the library committee began seeking a partner to occupy floors above the library to make the project both financially feasible and to better utilize limited downtown space. They eventually found a partner in a nonprofit, low-income housing developer interested in providing senior housing. With a new partner to split the expenses with, The Cornelius Place mixed-use project was approved unanimously by the city council.
The community of Cornelius has proudly raised $5.2 million to-date, with more than 200 individuals and 44 businesses contributing. Oregon Foundations, public funding, and the city covered the remaining shortfall.
The newly constructed building, Cornelius Place, now houses a library and learning center on the first floor and affordable senior housing on the second and third floors. The new library is ideally located in the town center, on a bus line and within walking distance of almost all residents. To increase inclusiveness and equity, the library recruits bilingual and Latino volunteers and staff.
Cornelius, OR- 2019 AAC Winner: Presentation
City of Cornelius