BEND, OR -- Plans for a new Stevens Ranch library in southeast Bend are taking shape. Deschutes Public Library Director Todd Dunkelberg says at 100,000-square feet, it’ll be the district’s largest branch, "his building will have a cafe, which was the number one thing that people asked for when we went out and talked to people across the county." He says it'll also be the first three-story library in the region, "One whole floor will be dedicated to children, one whole floor dedicated to adults, and then we’ll have a great lobby where people can come in; that’ll be where our big meeting spaces are and where our cafe will be, as well."
Dunkelberg adds, "It also will house all of our centralized services for the entire county. So that will actually free up space for us in our downtown Bend branch, and we’ll be expanding the public space in that building by about 25%."
The Stevens Ranch branch will be built on the east side of SE 27th Street, south of Stevens Road. An open house this week allowed neighbors a chance to check out the design and ask questions, "I heard from a lot of people, especially from people who live on the east side of Bend, that they really don’t have services like this," Dunkelberg tells KBND News, "So, they’re really excited to have this facility coming."
Construction is slated to begin in February of 2024, and Dunkelberg expects it’ll open by January of 2026. The $138 million project will be paid for through a bond approved by voters in 2020.