Questions remain about new library in Carbondale |

Questions remain about new library in Carbondale

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Carbondale will not be included in the first round of financing for new public library facilities in Garfield County, because of uncertainty about a preferred new library site and some questions on the part of town trustees on how best to help facilitate the move.

The Garfield County Public Library District Board of Directors is expected to decide at its regular monthly meeting Thursday to move forward with issuing $12.5 million in certificates of participation (COPs).

The money will be used to fund a new $9 million library in Rifle, as well as a $2 million renovation and expansion to the existing New Castle Branch Library.

A $2 million expansion to the Silt library, as well as a $1.3 million expansion in Parachute, would be funded separately using existing reserve funds, library district Executive Director Amelia Shelley said.

The facilities financing plan is on the table for formal action at Thursday’s library board meeting, starting at 6 p.m. at the New Castle library, 402 W. Main St.

That leaves financing for the proposed relocation and construction of a new 13,000-square-foot library in Carbondale – as well as a new 16,000- to 18,000-square-foot library in Glenwood Springs, for which several sites are still being evaluated – for a later time.

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The library district had considered issuing up to $16 million in COPs initially, with the idea that Carbondale may be ready to move forward.

But it became ever more apparent at a Tuesday night meeting between library officials and the Carbondale Board of Trustees that it’ll be a good three to five years before the town will see a new library.

Earlier this year, a site selection committee made up of citizens, library district and town officials, recommended against expanding the current Gordon Cooper Library on Fourth Street. That was due to the fact that the 13,750-square-foot site, which is owned by the town, is not considered adequate to build a single-level, 13,000-square-foot library, and accommodate the necessary parking.