Clearing up confusion about library proposal | AspenTimes.com

Clearing up confusion about library proposal

Dear Editor:

I would like to provide a few quick facts in response to some recent misunderstandings concerning the Pitkin County Library’s proposed renovation and addition.

The estimated budget for the project is approximately $10.3 million, and the library already has $5.3 million on hand from bequests it received in 1997 and reserved to pay for more than half of this project. Included in the budget is a 15 percent contingency fund.

The project includes a renovation of the existing library building of 31,700 square feet, an addition of 7,200 square feet of new building area and an outdoor reading deck and a covered porch totaling 3,600 square feet. Based on the estimated project budget, the total square-footage cost for the interior building area of 38,900 square feet will be between $250 and $300.

The redevelopment of Galena Plaza after the installation of a new waterproofing system on the parking-garage roof is a project that is being led by city staff. Although decisions related to the proposals for Galena Plaza will be made by the city, the library team has been coordinating with city staff so that the library design and the plaza design are complementary.

Our understanding of the most current city proposals for Galena Plaza include the need to remove the existing trees to work on the parking-garage roof, and new trees will be planted in raised beds on the redesigned plaza. The plaza will be extended toward the Aspen Chamber Resort Association building so that, with the library addition, there is limited net loss of plaza area. The city is working to design a park with multiple uses, including circulation, performances, views, picnicking, festivals and outdoor play areas for children.

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The library is being designed with flexibility to meet the needs of the 21st century, and I will be pleased to answer further questions. Please visit the library in person or online to review additional information.

Kathy Chandler

Pitkin County Library director

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