Members of the Tri-Community Library’s New Library Team are one step closer to a new library in Fernwood. 

The New Library Team now has a solid idea: what a new library in Fernwood might actually look like.

New Library Team members and staff of the Tri-Community Library met last Friday for the final design meeting with the Washington State University (WSU) School of Architecture. 

Students involved in the university’s RCDI program have worked over the last year to develop a design for a new library center. The students, along with the oversight by architectural department professor Robert Krikac and advisor Michael Sanchez, were able to create multiple visual representations of a new building. 

This step forward will allow the library team to use the design plans to apply for grant funding. Having design plans to show the scope of the project could help in receiving the funding. 

New Library Team member Myrtle Mellen said she was beyond pleased with the student’s designs and response to the community’s feedback. 

“Michael and Robert have just been fantastic,” Mellen said. “We like the way they worked with us on their plan and presentation. They are well organized and did a swell job.”

“I think they did a good job taking our ideas and turning it into visuals,” librarian John Smith said. “I think it’s a good starting point, and it’s more reachable when you have a visual.”

The designs feature a heavy focus on space for not only new books, but for the ever-growing children’s programs at the library. This includes makers space activities, K-club and various events like Game Day. 

Along with interior designs, students who focus primarily on exterior design were also included in the project. Those students helped to design ideas for an outdoor gathering space for youth as well as a space to host outdoor events.

The WSU students worked closely with members of the Tri-Community library, and sought their feedback and concerns. The last in-person meeting with WSU occurred in November 2021 with a Zoom call following in March. Over that time the group was able to share feedback which helped to shape the designs. 

The designs were a result of hours of work put in by the design team. This time the design team consisted of Ty Hash, Ana Borgheriu, Bella Lobra and Harleen Kennedy.

Krikac said he was pleased with his students efforts and the excitement from the community. 

“I would say this was very successful. It shows we really listened to what they had to say and we found creative solutions for that,” Krikac said.

The New Library Team will host a fundraising event for the new library at 5 p.m., Saturday, May 14, at the Fernwood Senior Center.

The dinner is $15 a person and $5 for children five and under. There will be a live and silent auction at 6 p.m. All proceeds go towards the New Library Fund.

For more information call the Tri-Community Library at 208-245-4883.

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