Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

12/1/2014 - 7/31/2020

Funding Totals (matching)

$500,000.00 (approved)
$500,000.00 (offered)
$500,000.00 (awarded)

New Library and Community Convening Space

FAIN: CH-233599-16

City of Cornelius (Cornelius, OR 97113-8912)
Karen Hill (Project Director: May 2015 to May 2024)

Construction of a new library building in Cornelius, Oregon.

The Cornelius Public Library in Cornelius, Oregon proposes a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help build a new library building to house and expand the humanities collection, provide space for more community involvement in humanities programs and strengthen partnerships with community groups and humanities organizations.

Media Coverage

SLIDESHOW: Cornelius Place Grand Opening Celebration (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Christopher Oertell, Geoff Pursinger
Publication: Forest Grove News-Times
Date: 4/1/2019
Abstract: This article covers the grand opening of Cornelius place, the multi-use building which contains the Cornelius Public Library.

Cornelius library puts out call for volunteers to help move (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mark Miller
Publication: Forest Grove News-Times
Date: 2/12/2019
Abstract: Article asking for help as the library prepared to re-open in their new space.

Community Breaks Ground on Cornelius Place (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Stephanie Haugen
Publication: Forest Grove NewsTimes, Pamplin Media
Date: 9/23/2019
Abstract: About 150 people showed up to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Cornelius Place development Saturday morning, Sept. 23, including Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, state Rep. Susan McLain, state Sen. Chuck Riley, Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington, Bienestar Executive Director Nathan Teske, BRIDGE Housing Senior Vice President Alison Lorig, and many other key project players, as well as a good chunk of local residents.

Life + Library | Innovation (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Marta Murvosh
Publication: Library Journal
Date: 6/13/2017
Abstract: Libraries in Chicago, San Francisco, and Cornelius, OR, have taken advantage of economies of scale to plan new locations in the same building as affordable senior housing developments. By working together, they maximized resources to improve the lives of all neighborhood residents. SMALL BUT MIGHTY Developing libraries with senior housing is not only for big cities. Cornelius, OR, a small, cashstrapped farming town west of Portland, will break ground this August on the $18.5 million Cornelius Place, a three-story project with 45 affordable senior apartments and a replacement for the 3,000 square foot Cornelius Public Library.

A New Chapter: Cities are tacking the housing crunch-by building above the library (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Kathleen McCormick
Publication: Land Lines
Date: 10/1/2019
Abstract: IN EARLY 2019, THE TOWN OF CORNELIUS, OREGON, celebrated the opening of a new mixed-use development called Cornelius Place. Situated on the town’s main thoroughfare, the building features a 13,650-square-foot public library that replaces one at City Hall that was only one quarter that size. It also includes a café, a courtyard that will host concerts and a farmers’ market, and a 2,900-square-foot YMCA recreation and fitness center. “Our town didn’t have a senior, youth, or community center, so our library is a lot more than a repository for books—it’s a multipurpose community space as well,” says Library Director Karen Hill, who shepherded the project.

Low-income apartments for seniors prepare for opening (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mark Miller
Publication: Forest Grove NewsTimes
Date: 1/29/2019
Abstract: Cornelius Place, with the new home of the Cornelius Public Library on its ground floor and 45 apartment units on its second and third floors, is an eye-catching addition to the Highway 8 corridor through downtown Cornelius.

Cornelius Place surpasses key milestones: Construction on three-story building is nearing finish line (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Mark Miller
Publication: Forest Grove NewsTimes, Pamplin Media
Date: 12/21/2018
Abstract: Over the past year, the block at the corner of North Adair Street and 14th Avenue in Cornelius has transformed from an empty lot to one of the biggest and tallest buildings in town: a three-story, mixed-use development that will house the city’s public library, as well as apartments for low-income seniors.

Live-brary (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Ben Carson
Publication: US Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Date: 9/27/2017
Abstract: It's always nice when the morning paper or evening TV news show reports a groundbreaking or grand opening held by one of HUD's partners. Though HUD resources and funds are involved, most of the hard work from drawing board to ribbon-cutting is done by our partners. They've earned the spotlight. Why would librarians give a hoot about HUD? Visit Cornelius, Oregon, a once-rural, now exurban community of 12,000 residents on the western edge of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area in Washington County, Oregon.
URL: http://

Cornelius: All-America City Finalist (Media Coverage)
Author(s): submitted by City of Cornelius
Publication: Local Focus: League of Oregon Cities
Date: 1/1/2019
Abstract: The city of Cornelius was named one of only 20 cities in the US as an All-America City Finalist by the National Civic League.

Cornelius library project takes another step (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Jill Rehkopf Smith
Publication: Portland Tribune
Date: 5/16/2017
Abstract: The city of Cornelius was awarded a $90,000 capital grant by The Collins Foundation to support the construction of the new Cornelius Public Library. Add that to another $10,000 just awarded last week from the Rose E. Tucker Foundation and the $100,000 chunk brings the total money raised to more than $4 million of the $5.2 million project cost. There is another $700,000 currently in the pipeline from foundation sources and another $150,000 being actively raised from local businesses and individuals," said Cornelius Library Director Karen Hill. The new library will be part of the Cornelius Place Project, which includes the 14,000-square-foot library, a YMCA community room and 45 units of affordable housing for senior adults.

Associated Products

Cornelius Public Library Online Events Calendar (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Cornelius Public Library Online Events Calendar
Abstract: The Cornelius Public Library hosts several events each week, often more than one a day. Their full schedule can be located under the link on their homepage entitled "Join Our Online Events."
Author: Various
Date: 3/1/19
Location: Cornelius Public Library
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This link is to the library's homepage and offers information about their programs and operating status due to Covid-19.

Kids Resources (Web Resource)
Title: Kids Resources
Author: Karen Hill
Abstract: Due to Covid-19, the library has cancelled their regular storytimes so they have a page on their website with additional virtual resources for kids.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is the link to their resource page for kids.

Adult Resources (Web Resource)
Title: Adult Resources
Author: Karen Hill
Abstract: The library has a page for adult resources including language software and a learning site with a variety of adult education materials.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is their page of virtual resources for adults.

Cornelius Public Library (Building)
Name: Cornelius Public Library
Abstract: The building was opened in 2019 as a multi-use space housing the Cornelius Public Library and YMCA center on the first floor and affordable senior housing on the second and third floors. This NEH grant supported the construction of the first floor to expand the library's capacity, both in terms of collection space and programming.
Director: Karen Hill
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This page on the Washington County Cooperative Library Services website offers information on the Cornelius Public Library and their offerings.

Watercolor painting of Cornelius Library (Acquisitions/Materials Collection)
Name: Watercolor painting of Cornelius Library
Abstract: A watercolor painting of the new public library.
Director: Artist: Elicia BeeBe
Year: 2020

2019 All America Awards (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: 2019 All America Awards
Author: Rob Drake
Abstract: The National Civic League’s All-America City Award has celebrated the best in American civic innovation since 1949. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all), recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders. Cities, counties, tribes and community organizations of all types are invited to apply for the annual designation.
Date: 07/01/2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Youtube video