Midland Library renovation moves along

INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE VIDEO ‘INSIDE LOOK’ AS THIS MAJOR PROJECT | Take a look inside while the main outer East Portland library is being refurbished – both inside and out …

Contractors are working, inside and out, to completely refurbish the 29-year-old Midland Library, in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Multnomah County Library’s Midland Library closed for construction on December 23, 2022. A few weeks ago, East Portland News got an inside look at the work today taking place at the site.

First, from the outside of this 1995 library building, one change is obvious: The iconic clock tower has been taken down, and will not be replaced. That’s one of the many things we learned from the county library’s Sr. Construction Project Manager Elise Hendrickson, while visiting the worksite.

Keeping a close eye on work being done at Midland Library is the county library’s Sr. Construction Project Manager, Elise Hendrickson.

“As you know, this is a complete renovation of an existing building – adding about 6,000 square feet, and increasing the facility to about 30,000 square feet – making it a ‘destination’ library,” Hendrickson told East Portland News.

Take an exclusive video tour of this major project, now under construction:

“The outside of the building will have graphic panels that were designed, in, part, by a RACC (Regional Arts & Culture Council) artist,” Hendrickson pointed out. “The soffits of the front canopy will have a very colorful graphic, which will be visible from SE 122nd Avenue – and it’ll be really captivating.”

Looking down the center length of the building, the library’s collections will be shelved in the area shown.

So, the “collections” – shelving, with books and media – will be relocated into the center of the library; and all of the meeting spaces and specialty rooms will be all around the perimeter walls.

The “all new” Midland Library will provide three large community rooms, to be available to the public. Connecting to the rooms is a community art gallery.

These workers are putting in the ceiling above what will become the Children’s Area. Outside the windows, they’re building an outdoor, contained, Kids Play Area.

“Bora Architecture & Interiors worked with Colloqate Design to create these opportunities for the community to hang their artwork on large, sliding panels – in addition to a display case for showing off community creative art,” Hendrickson explained.

Not yet committing to a specific date for the grand reopening, Liz Sauer — the county library’s Capital Building Projects Communication Manager – nonetheless promises that Midland Library will be reopening this summer.

The total project cost for refurbishing Midland Library is approximately $31 million, according to Liz Sauer, the county library’s Capital Building Projects Communication Manager. She adds, “We expect it to reopen later in this summer.”

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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