GRANDVIEW - Library patrons and community members gathered for the grand opening of the Grandview Library yesterday.
Several individuals involved in the project gave presentations prior to the ribbon cutting, which preceded an open house event.
Speaking to those gathered was Yakima Valley Community College President Linda Kaminski, who said the project could not have been possible without a strong partnership between YVCC and the city of Grandview.
She recognized several dignitaries present, including Rep. Bruce Chandler and Washington State Librarian Rand Simmons, former Grandview City Administrator Jim Sewell and past YVCC President Dr. Phil Tuller.
"This library wouldn't be possible without its donors," said Kaminski, recognizing the project was also possible because of the generous financial support of community members.
"We are blessed this project was funded and the $2 million was raised before the (state) capital budget was really hit hard," she said.
Chandler spoke briefly about the new library, which is a joint project between the city of Grandview and the Grandview YVCC campus.
He said, "Libraries have always been special to me...Grandview should be proud of all it's been able to accomplish."
Chandler heralded the community for its commitment to "forward progress."
He said the college and the community are an example of focusing on the future.
Sheri Brockway of Brockway, Opfer, Raab Architecture, PLLC in Yakima told those gathered she is proud of the hard work of all the architects, engineers and construction workers who made the library a reality.
"The building had to be a shining star and it is our hope that we gave the community something to be proud of," she said, stating she believes the new library is a very special place, serving both the community and academics.
Brockway said it is her vision to see youngsters in the community visiting the library and being inspired by students attending the Grandview YVCC campus. She also envisions families enjoying the new library, which features a special children's library area.
Kaminski took the microphone again, extolling the great partnership between Grandview and Yakima Valley Community College. She provided a brief history dating back to 1988 when the college first expressed interest in providing educational opportunities on what was then the junior fairgrounds.
That partnership has led to several campus expansions, more recently the Workforce Education Center opened in 2007.
As the community has sought educational opportunities and the enrollment at the Grandview campus has grown, so too has the campus itself grown.
"This is no ordinary partnership... and I hope it will be an example for the world," said Kaminski.
Mayor Norm Childress spoke briefly about the hard work and efforts of city staff and council members.
He said, "We have a beautiful facility."
Childress said the city of Grandview is not finished moving toward its future. He is proud of all that has been accomplished in recent years and is looking forward to the community center's opening slated for next year, as well.
"You have to be willing and able with a vision," Childress said of accomplishments like those recently completed in Grandview.
Also speaking to the crowd gathered for the grand opening was Librarian Elizabeth Jahnke, who was hired this past summer to operate the new facility.
She said she is proud of her hometown and all it has accomplished through its partnership with YVCC.
"I am a beneficiary of YVCC's programs," said Jahnke, explaining her mother received a nursing degree as a graduate of the college.
She said she is proud of all the efforts between the community and the college, efforts that provide community members with the benefits of an education and opportunities to excel in life.