On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, the Deschutes Public Library District Board selected the architectural team of The Miller Hull Partnership and Steele Associates to design bond-funded construction projects. Projects include a greatly expanded Redmond Library and a new central library, as well as extensive renovations and updates for libraries in Downtown Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Sunriver.
“We are eager to bring to life the voters’ vision of designing and updating library spaces throughout Deschutes County, and The Miller Hull Partnership and Steele Associates are poised to make that vision a reality,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “Both firms have extensive experience in sustainable design and are steeped in the Pacific Northwest experience. We are excited to work with them as we update and expand Library buildings and services to better serve the people of Deschutes County.”
The Library received proposals from five architectural partnerships. The Miller Hull Partnership and Steele Associates were selected following an initial Request for Qualifications and a more detailed Request for Proposal, as well as a formal interview process.
“Miller Hull and Steele’s commitment to community input and outreach, responsive communication and passion for creating collective spaces makes them a dynamic team,” said Dunkelberg. “What’s more, both firms are rooted in creating spaces that are accessible and environmentally sustainable.”
The Miller Hull Partnership is based in Seattle, Washington, and has designed libraries and community spaces throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Idaho. Steele Associates, based in Bend, Oregon, has led the design of a number of iconic building projects in Deschutes County, including facilities for Central Oregon Community College, Oregon State University-Cascades and school districts throughout the region.
“I was born here and our staff has lived and worked in all the communities of Central Oregon for more than 25 years designing landmark public and private projects,” said Scott Steele, president and owner of Steele Associates. “Libraries are special places that have evolved to become community centers and gathering places that equitably provide information and services to people from all walks of life, and we understand what a profound impact each library will have on our communities and families. It is hard to express in words how meaningful it is for us and our partners to be selected to design these libraries in concert with Deschutes Public Library and each community.”
Steele also expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration with The Miller Hull Partnership.
“The Miller Hull Partnership have internationally recognized library and design expertise and a real excitement for community projects. Together our team brings the perfect balance of design, technical and local expertise,” Steele said.
“Our firms spent a lot of time together preparing for the proposal and interview process, and quickly discovered how like-minded and passionate we are about incredible community projects like this,” said Sian Roberts, partner with The Miller Hull Partnership. “We can’t wait to begin and we bring our passion, creativity and thoughtfulness to the process and projects.”
In November 2020, Deschutes County voters supported the Library’s bond measure to expand and improve libraries across the county. The bond will fund the design and construction of an approximately 100,000-square-foot Central Library adjacent to Highway 20 on Robal Road to serve all Deschutes County residents. Bond funds will also pay for doubling the square footage of the Redmond Library and will update existing libraries in Downtown Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Sisters and Sunriver.
An estimated timeline for completion of construction and renovation projects is as follows: