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Library Announces Selection of Building/Design Firms for its ‘Tri-Building Project’



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Media Contact: Travis Duncan, Media Specialist
(719) 531-6333, x1202

Library Announces Selection of Building/Design Firms for its 'Tri-Building Project'

New Library The goal of the 21st Century Library is to provide exactly what you need, in the format you desire, at the very moment it will benefit you most. At Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) this means focusing on convenience and consistency, and harnessing technology to provide superior services for the entire community. As part of its plan to develop 21st Century Library service in the Pikes Peak region, PPLD has purchased 112,000 square feet of space for a new facility in north-central Colorado Springs. The building was purchased using a portion of accumulated fund balance and the current operating budget by the District in early 2012 for $3.75 million. When complete, this facility will provide resources to the entire community and offer unique opportunities to engage with and contribute to the library collection.

“The purchase of the building at such a discount is certainly a benefit for the district and re-use of existing space will benefit the community as the building had been vacant for almost a decade,” said PPLD Board of Trustees President Kathleen Owings. “With this new project we are working to redefine libraries in the future and build a model for other libraries across the nation to replicate.”

“The transformation of this building into a 21st Century Library will be one of the biggest things to happen to this library district in the last couple of decades,” said PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller. “It will be a model for libraries, not just in our District, but also in the state, and, we hope, nationally.”

Expanding into New Places

On October 31, 2012, PPLD announced the selection of GE Johnson Construction Company and the Humphries Poli (HPA) library design firm to create a regional library at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive. The undertaking has been dubbed “The Tri-Building Project,” because the new facility will also affect service delivery at PPLD’s East, Penrose, and Briargate libraries.

“We looked at a number of factors in making this decision,” said PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller, “like creativity of the proposal, innovation, experience, as well as the approach to the project. One of the things we loved about this group is that they have an aggressive timeline for us. We will be moving forward very quickly.” A preliminary timeline provided by GE Johnson/HPA projects behind-the-scenes administrative services moving into the location by March of 2013 and an opening for a portion of the public library by January of 2014.

A History of Successful Libraries

The GE Johnson/HPA collaboration began over 10 years ago. Since then, this team has helped the District with many projects, including the renovation at Sand Creek Library and the recent construction of the High Prairie Library in Falcon, Colo. This build/design team brings vast experience in library programming and thoughtful design, as well as local knowledge of the Colorado Springs construction market, a reputation for quality and strong relationships with both Pikes Peak Regional Building and Planning and PPLD.

Led by GE Johnson Construction Executive Fred Wolfe, the team consists of Dennis Humphries, a principal of Humphries Poli architects with experience working on nearly 60 libraries; Ryan Wallace, an architectural project manager who has successfully navigated the LEED process for several LEED Gold libraries; and Ozi Friedrich, a library design specialist who holds a masters degree in both Architecture and Library Information Science.

This team has helped the District conduct public focus group meetings in the past, including soliciting community input before construction began at both the Sand Creek and High Prairie community libraries. The process for PPLD’s newest facility will be no different. The GE Johnson/Humphries Poli team is committed to a design/build process that establishes a relationship with the community.

“We’re so excited about this project,” said lead architect Dennis Humphries. “People across the country will be looking at this project as an example of how to use resources and put the latest and greatest in technology to work in serving the public.”

Working Together

There are many ways you can become involved in planning for the 21st Century Library. Things to watch for include:

  • Focus Groups and Advisory Teams
  • Public Feedback Surveys
  • Volunteer Projects
  • Giving Opportunities

This ambitious project will require public and private support. Fundraising is already underway to underwrite our exciting redefinition of the library at the heart of the 21st century community.

"The Tri-Building Project is over 70% funded through savings from the general fund, but it requires another 30%, between $3 and $4 million, to maximize this opportunity to create the 21st Century Library,” said Jim Weller, President-elect of the PPLD Foundation. “The scope of the project will look for donations of cash and gifts-in-kind at any level.”

PPLD's planning process will offer everyone an opportunity to invest in the future of the Pikes Peak region. “If you are interested in helping us reach this ambitious goal, please call the PPLD Foundation,” said Weller. The PPLD Foundation can be contacted at 719-531-6333, x2205.

Join Us

Please join us! Meeting times will be announced to the public in advance and the team will offer 24/7 communication on the project at, including meeting minutes, drawings, charts, photographs, models, and more. Your participation will be invaluable in creating a strong sense of civic pride when the library is complete.