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Jacksonville library gets good reviews

The increased size and potential for multiple community uses have earned raves already

Jacksonville residents will get an early Christmas gift Monday with the scheduled opening of their new library.

However, some of the residents couldn't wait to take a peek at their present.

Gazing at the towering clerestories inside the spacious new facility on Friday, Danielle Drosdick said, I'm in love.

Her friend, Kelly Gahr, added, It's so spectacular.

At 5,846 square feet, the building, designed to blend with the historic character of Jacksonville, is more than four times the size of the old 1,100-square-foot library.

The project, which cost &

36;1.3 million, is one of 14 libraries being built or renovated in Jackson County thanks to a &

36;39 million bond measure approved by voters in 2000.

Some of the main features of the new library include a community room, private study room, display case in the entryway and adult, young adult and children's sections.

The community donated &

36;150,000 to the library, allowing for a larger community room and outdoor children's play area.

The city of Jacksonville donated the site.

Residents can take a peek at the interior of the building today if they attend a free 7 p.m. performance of Sounds and Scenes of Christmas, presented by the Mixed Nuts Theater.

The show, which will feature musicians from the Southern Oregon Youth Symphony, also will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday.

A &

36;5 donation will be asked for the Sunday show (&

36;1 for children).

Gahr, who was a member of the Mixed Nuts Theater and was setting up the stage in the community room Friday, said the new building will finally give the troupe a location for its performances.

We were always constantly trying to find a place to hold the show, she said.

In the future, film festivals will be held in the community room.

Margaret Jakubcin, county library west regional manager, said, I think it's going to be a great library to work in.

The circulation desk and staff work room are designed to allow a good vantage point to view the operation of the customer areas.

We can see what's going on all over the library, she said.

On Friday, library staff made their way through workers doing the finishing touches on construction to set up the facility.

We will have staff working on the weekend and early Monday morning, she said.

Doug Skelton of the architectural firm of Skelton, Straus and Seibert said a lot of historical research went into the design of the building, which is representative of a style common in the 1880s and 1890s.

Brick is used on the California Street side to reflect the style of other buildings on the town's thoroughfare.

The side of the building facing away from California is wooden, in a design suggesting a train station. The library sits on the terminus of a railroad line that once connected Jacksonville to Medford.

In circulation

Target opening dates for Jackson County's 14 new or renovated libraries, paid for by voter-approved bonds:

Applegate: open.

Jacksonville: Monday.

Ruch: Dec. 26.

Ashland: open.

Medford: late 2003.

Rogue River: Feb. 3.

Eagle Point, Central Point, Gold Hill and Prospect: late 2004.

Phoenix, Talent, Butte Falls and Shady Cove: late 2006.

Margaret Jakubcin, county library west regional manager, says Jacksonville?s new library will be a great space to work in. It?s scheduled to open on Monday. Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell - Mail Tribune Bob Pennell