City to renovate library basement

HERMISTON – The city of Hermiston is renovating the basement of the public library, and the work will serve two purposes – a temporary home for municipal services, and better storage for the library.

“As we’re demolishing city hall, we will move all city functions into the basement of the library as a result of these renovations,” Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said. “Once the new city hall is complete and those operations are moved out, we will have constructed those changes in a way that will allow us to utilize the basement of the library a lot better than it has been in the past.”

Knerr Construction of Hermiston had the low bid on the library project at $910,000. The remodel will relocate the bathrooms and open up a large piece of the floor space, removing a number of small study rooms that staff reports were never very useful. The staff offices will be pushed to the edge of the space, leaving more room storage and public spaces.

Morgan said that the renovation makes good sense because the basement in its current form is not as useful as it could be.

“There’s a major sunken cost in the form of the library basement currently,” he said. “In its current form it’s drastically under-utilized. These improvements will allow us to substantially expand library services with minimal staffing changes in the future.”