ADAIR VILLAGE -- Stan Baker strolled
over to Santiam Christian School's new library for a meeting just a few days before the building's official dedication on Friday, Sept. 9.
The lobby was packed with kids picking up yearbooks. Baker, Santiam Christian's superintendent, said he couldn't help but beam.
"That's what we're hoping happens there," he said. "That it becomes the center of learning on our campus."
Santiam Christian's new two-story, 35,000-square-foot library, classroom and community building opened for business last week at the school in Adair Village.
The first floor of the new complex features computer, drama and marketing classrooms, a computer lab and, of course, a state-of-the art library.
A community room will be available for residents of the small city north of Corvallis, and the library will actually function as Adair Village's first municipal library.
"The community and school are working together so as to not duplicate services," Baker said. "This has been a dream for a long time."
Santiam Christian has 14 buildings on its 18-acre campus, the former Adair Air Force Station. This is only the fourth built-from-scratch structure there in the school's 32-year history, Baker said.
Local families have long discussed the need for a new library to replace the existing one -- an undersized facility in the high school that serves all 600 preschool through high school students.
Yet funding for the project has come about rather quickly.
Within the last year and a half, there have been private gifts from local families, alumni and foundations, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
There was a $2 million anonymous donation.
"As far as we know, it had been the first time the person had been on campus," Baker said of the latter. "It resonated how important a new library and science facilities were and they had the resources to make it happen."
Total cost of the project is $5.5 million; Santiam Christian has $4.5 million so far.
The second floor of the building, which will house biology, physics and electronic classrooms and labs, remains incomplete.
"That's funding dependent," Baker said. "There's a possibility it could be finished by late January, and, if not, then at least by September 2012."
Roughly 16 percent of Santiam Christian's enrollment comes from Dallas, Monmouth and Independence, said Raelyn Reidlinger, director of admissions. Students from West Salem and rural areas in Polk County also attend the school, Reidlinger said.