June 2009 Building Update: The District is Growing!
The Garfield County Public Library District is growing! Two libraries are in the planning stages at Rifle and Parachute, with continuing discussions in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle and Silt about the facilities in those communities. Conceptual drawings of both facilities are shown below. The District is working with architect Bruce Flynn of Barker Rinker Seacat and the construction firm of Adolfson and Peterson to construct the new libraries. Work is already underway at both sites, with parking lot improvements at Parachute and some site demolition in Rifle.
The approximately 4,000 square foot expansion of the Parachute Branch Library will add a 100+ person public meeting room, larger children’s and teen areas, reading areas, expanded offices and storage, and improvements to the parking lot. The addition will take advantage of the beautiful views to the north and east of the building and preserve the park-like exterior. The meeting room will be available to civic groups as well as library programs, and should be available for use outside of regular library hours. We hope to break ground on the remodel in late September.
The Rifle Branch Library will be a new 26,300 square foot facility with a large public meeting room, larger collections, study rooms, separate children’s area and story time room, teen space, adequate staff and storage areas, administrative office space and attractive outdoor areas. The District is partnering with the City of Rifle to create an outdoor civic plaza that will accommodate activities such as the Farmer’s Market and other events. Also in the plans is adequate parking for both facilities with a goal of 155 spaces that will also provide additional parking for downtown businesses.
The parking lot and civic plaza will be a joint venture between the City, the Library District and the Rifle Downtown Development Association. Demolition of several empty structures on East Second Street took place in May and the District is moving to a temporary location at Third Street and West later this summer to facilitate construction. Adolfson and Peterson recently held an open house for interested contractors; more information is available through their web site at www.a-p.com/subcontractor-center.
The Library District is continuing to work on developing new library facilities in the other four municipalities in the county. In the Town of Silt we are creating a joint meeting room in an expanded Silt Branch Library facility for Town Council and other community meetings. In Carbondale, the District has worked with a Town Council-appointed Library Site Selection Committee and has identified a site at Third and Sopris as a possible location. We are seeking an amendment to the PUD and hope to have a clear vision of where we are going there by early fall. We are working with the Town of New Castle to develop a remodeling plan for our existing library and in Glenwood Springs we are still exploring potential library sites, mostly in and around downtown. The Library Board of Trustees determined that the projects in Silt and New Castle are most likely to be next after Rifle and Parachute are complete.
I hope this update addresses questions you may have about the building program created in 2006 when the District was formed. We want to move forward quickly on new or improved library facilities but recognize that each is a joint effort with the community it serves and it takes time to do a job well. We are trying to respect each municipality's concerns and plans for community development.
I encourage your input! Feel free to call me 970-625-4270 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns you have about creating a wonderful library for your community.
-Amelia Shelley, Executive Director
Artist's rendering of the renovated Parachute Branch Library
Artist's rendering of the new Rifle Branch Library, with civic plaza at left