3/27/13

THREE NEW PUBLIC LIBRARIES FOR PUEBLO COUNTY



For the past several months, a team of professionals associated with the library district have been working diligently on a project to build three new public libraries in Pueblo County. The new libraries, once completed, will be located, respectively, on the City of Pueblo’s East Side, on the St. Charles Mesa in an unincorporated area east of the City of Pueblo, and in the Greenhorn Valley in the Colorado City Metropolitan District.

We remain on track to break ground on construction of the new libraries later this summer in 2013. The libraries are scheduled to open to the public about mid-year in 2014.

To date, quite a bit of progress has been made on the new libraries’ project. Here is an overview of the status of the project:

• The sites have been determined. On the City of Pueblo’s East Side, the new library will be located at the corner of 7th Street and Monument Avenue. This is near many businesses, churches, and schools in the area. It is a bustling location, and will make a great spot for a beautiful new public library. On the St. Charles Mesa, the library will be at 24 ½ Lane and CO HWY 50. The location is immediately north of the highway, west of a Pueblo Rural Fire District station there, and nearby some School District 70 facilities. This is a busy area on the Mesa, and should be a great spot for a new library. The Greenhorn Valley site is immediately adjacent to CO HWY 165 at Cibola Drive (County Road 192) at the east end of Greenhorn Meadows Park. It is a beautiful location and should allow convenient access to a wonderful library for people living in this area of southern Pueblo County. We now are working to finalize the entitlements process so a construction permit can be issued for each of the sites by summer.

• The architect has completed schematic design for the new libraries. They will be full-service public libraries with attractive features uniquely adapted to each of their three respective communities. Each library will be approximately 7,500 square feet in size, and also will include plenty of books and other library materials, public-use computers and other information technology, comfortable spaces for study and learning, and community meeting rooms for people to gather together to exchange ideas. The architect, Jim Bershof with OZ Architecture, has done superb work designing the libraries to fit with the singular qualities of each of the three individual communities. The next step in the design process is to solicit final comments from stakeholders, then proceed with the development of construction documents.

• Pueblo-based H. W. Houston Construction Company will build the new libraries. They are on-track to begin construction on the new libraries later this summer at the determined sites, once the construction documents are completed, the construction permits issued, and final subcontractor bidding agreed upon.

• The financial plan is ready to go. In total, this is approximately a $6.2 million capital project to build and equip all three libraries. The good news is that 95% of the funds are now in-place and available for the project. Nevertheless, we continue to work to “top off” the funding necessary to complete the libraries. About $350,000 remains to be raised. The Pueblo Library Foundation is working diligently now to complete the necessary fundraising.

The Pueblo City-County Library District is pleased to reach ever closer to our goal of ensuring free and open access to information for everyone in our service area. Each year, more and more people are using our libraries to checkout record amounts of library books and other materials, and to participate in a variety of library-hosted educational and cultural programs and events. For those interested in supporting any or all of the new libraries, please contact Midori Clark, the library’s director of development, at 562-5605 or midori.clark@pueblolibrary.org. Your support is needed to complete the new libraries!

LOCAL HISTORY AT THE LIBRARY by Jon Walker

Our community enjoys a rich and diverse history.  This is the story of the people and events helping to shape the saga of this region over ...