By Randy Robbins

Pilot Correspondent

“We are close to being done and look forward to sharing our newly expanded library with the community soon,” said Jeremy Skinner, Curry Public Library director.

Skinner, along with staff members Jordan Popoff and Rebecca Marcus, provided a sneak preview of the $2.4 million expansion of Curry Public Library in Gold Beach.

Skinner anticipates completion within the next few weeks. The grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 18.

With the help of a $1.2 million bequest, $600,000 in grants, $200,000 Friends of the Curry Public Library community gifts, and remaining costs covered by Special District of Oregon — the new two story, 6,400-square-foot addition brings the overall size of the library to just under 15,000 square feet.

Groundbreaking for the project designed by HGE Inc. of Coos Bay was in July 2017.

The lower level

Marcus is in charge of the new space. The entry hall ceiling features a rolling wave effect built utilizing wooden slats of various thicknesses. An elevator is at the entrance.

Off the entrance is a 150-seat multi-purpose room, which can be used for lectures, movies and musical performances. It features a large retractable screen, a modular stage and wooden floors.

Nearby is a kitchen to prepare meals for attendees of day-long seminars or evening refreshments. Popoff said the idea is to make the meeting space inviting and practical.

Skinner said that the multi-purpose room will be available to the community, the only restriction is that whatever functions are held would be under the umbrella of learning and education. The library will charge a fee for its use.

The upper level

A fully functional technology lab will afford the community the latest in specialized tools with a special dedication toward meeting the needs of helping South Coast youth.

The tech lab offers “lots of flexibility,” according to Skinner, with 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, laser cutters and computers. A large retractable screen and projector is available for use by instructors.

The computers will be available to the general public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for school students from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We really want a large focus of this expansion to be centered on children by helping them have at their disposal the tools to help them succeed in life” Skinner said.

Another part of the tech lab is designed for media. Individuals will be able to create original content for local public access television programming. Editing, production, camera, talent, and sound tutoring will be available by Brandt Media in conjunction with the library.

Once certified, production equipment can be checked out to the public, Skinner said.

Art work will be featured on a quarterly basis in the upstairs gallery. Popoff said the idea is to showcase different artists on a rotating basis. Artists Sarah Bean and Clara Herbage will be first to display their work.

Another conference room provides space for up to 20 people.

About the library

The Curry Public Library is part of the Coastline Library Network, a consortium of 14 libraries serving 100,000 people and providing access to more than 640,000 items such as books, books on tape and DVDs.

Skinner invites the public to tour the new library addition during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Author Jim Lynch will be on hand. Shuttles will be available at Buffington Park in Gold Beach.

For more information, contact Skinner at 541-247-7246.