Explaining the library renovation | AspenTimes.com

Explaining the library renovation

Dear Editor:

The Pitkin County Library, working with an outstanding design team, has put forth a plan that will address the way the library can and will be used in the 21st century. Through focus groups, surveys and meetings, people have told us what our unique and wonderful community needs from its library.

The library addition will coincide with the community’s wishes for indoor-outdoor space in Galena Plaza. The addition will be within the library’s 44-foot easement; an outdoor seating area covered by a canopy will meet the 60-foot underground garage supports.

This new library space will be a community hub where people can come to meet and socialize. The outside porch will be a convenient setting for the public to relax and use Wi-Fi even when the library isn’t open. The relocated children’s room will accommodate new programs, including an interactive learning center and storytelling area. The teen area will be larger and have more study areas and tutoring space. New smaller study rooms will meet the frequent requests for study-room space. The most popular collections will be located on the main floor of the library.

The timing for this project could not be better. The library team is working closely with the city of Aspen as it finalizes its plans to improve Galena Plaza and make necessary repairs to the Rio Grande parking garage. By collaborating with the city, construction impacts will be minimized and substantial cost savings realized.

The 7,200-square-foot addition will enlarge the present space by 23 percent. We have been planning this expansion for several years and have saved $5.3 million from donations, more than half the cost of the renovation and expansion.

The library question will ask the voters for an additional two-tenths of a mill – a little less than $17 in property tax for a $1 million residential property.

Austine Stitt

Trustee, Pitkin County Library board


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