District Prepares to Open Its 21st Century Library

11/04/2013

On Friday, November 1, 2013, Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) officially began renovations at its new facility located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, set to open to the public in the summer of 2014. The impending opening was celebrated at a gala event attended by more than a hundred community members and library supporters, excited to usher in a new era of expanded library services.

The evening’s events marked the beginning of PPLD’s Tri-Building Project, a renovation of three PPLD facilities that will create more than 100¬,000 square feet of innovative new public library space with features that include:
• A Creative Computer Commons, Business Center, 400+ Seat Community Meeting Room with State-of-the-Art Communications Equipment
• Job Search and Career Assistance Center
• Programming Maker Space Zones - places for people to connect, invent, and create, with workshop areas that encourage big thinking and interactive community activities
• Businesses Services including Wi-Fi, Copying and Faxing, Meeting Rooms for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs needing Projectors, Smart-Boards, and Teleconferencing Solutions
• “Green” facilities featuring natural light, open space, an outdoor patio, café amenities, and multiple conference rooms

The Tri-Building Project will optimize District resources and minimize renovation costs to provide our community with a truly competitive edge. When complete, here is what it will add to the Library District:

• North Facility: The building will feature 70,000 square feet of new public library space. Additionally, the relocation of consolidated administrative offices and “back of the house” library operations will occur in an additional 30,000 square feet of space. Renovation and creation of a new high-tech regional, multi-purpose library housing interactive creativity centers called Maker Spaces, a business center with video conferencing capacity, computerized meeting rooms, audio and video creation booths and labs, traditional library materials, and a 400- to 500-seat community meeting room and performance center. To optimize resources, Library Administration and “back of the house” operations will relocate from East and Penrose Libraries to the North Facility.
• East Library: Additional 18,000 square feet of public space and partial renovation to repurpose vacated space into an expanded Home School Center, Children’s Education Center, Computer Lab, and an entry face lift.
• Penrose Library: Additional 15,000 square feet of public space. Partial renovation to repurpose vacated space into new Teen Center, expanded Children’s Education Center, Adult Literacy and ESL Education Center, and an entry face lift.

Funding
Although the project will not incur debt and the expanded operations will be operated within current library budget projections, the project still has $4.1 million left to raise over the next 3 years. Fundraising will continue under the leadership of the PPLD Foundation and will reach out to the funding community, area businesses, and individuals offering naming opportunities every level of funding. More information on giving opportunities is available at ppld.org/foundation.

In Summary
• Borrowing of materials at PPLD has increased roughly 50% in the last decade. In 2012 PPLD counted nearly 9 million items borrowed and 3.6 million patron visits. The expanding need for library service, an increasing population base, and the advent of new technologies require that PPLD grow in order to maintain the level of service our community expects and needs.
• Much of the preliminary planning drew on community needs as identified through a 5-year planning process that focused on sustainable facilities and services. The project will serve 277,000 people projected to reside in the areas surrounding the north facility, the East, and the Penrose Libraries by 2016. It will reach families of all ages, income levels, and ethnicities.