Board approves purchase; new library facility planned

At Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees Meeting on Tuesday, November 29, the Board voted to take action to purchase a facility adjacent to the Chapel Hills Mall. The facility was formerly occupied by MCI and is located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive on the corner of Chapel Hills Drive and Jamboree Drive. The building is 112,883 square feet (a little less than twice the size of the East Library) and it has two loading docks. This purchase will increase the District’s total square footage by almost 50 percent without any new debt to the residents of El Paso County.

The preliminary contract price is $3.75 million. This equates to approximately $33 per square foot, which compares very favorably to an estimated cost to construct a new library facility of about $250 per square foot. A building of this size would have cost the District $28 million.

The District is using fund balance and the current operating budget to fund the purchase of this facility. There is no debt, and no taxpayer dollars will be used for interest expense. There will be some renovation and repair costs, and the District has money set aside in the budget to cover such costs.

This facility will ease the burden on other heavily used libraries by allowing the District’s Information Technology Department, Community Engagement and Outreach Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Office, Collection Management, and the PPLD Foundation to relocate, thus freeing up space at the East Library, Penrose Library, and the Knights of Columbus office building for other uses such as more space for the public.

The facility will also feature a Creative Computer Commons, a prototype library facility that will provide information technology and electronic resources to the public. Classes will ensure participants are comfortable with technology and have the skills needed in the current job market. Emerging technology will be available for hands-on use. It will offer both educational and entertaining programs and resources. Finally, like all library locations, it will become a community center for its area, with a meeting room, study space, and community partnerships.

“The Pikes Peak Library District is a vibrant entity in which the demand for services increases every year. This transaction will go a long way toward helping our staff meet the increasing needs of our citizens.” said PPLD Chief Finance Officer Michael Varnet.

The timeline for opening is still tentative, but the District hopes to have the new facility open by the end of 2012.

Comments

Current Status

So 2012 has come and gone and 2014 is approaching. What is the current status and timeline? Thanks.

Timeline for New Library

Thank you for your note. Here is a link to the project timeline:
http://ppld.org/whats-new/21st-century-library-planning-and-progress-date.

We anticipate opening to the public in June 2014. Visit the project web page for more information, and coming soon, renderings of some of the spaces!

Any progress?

What is going on with developing this facility? No progress seems to be happening this year. Is it dead in the water? Why no news?

Progress on PPLD's new library facility

It may seem like little is underway at PPLD's new facility, 1125 Chapel Hills Drive, but a number of important things are taking place:

All of the structural elements and systems of the large building have been tested and appraised.

An inventory of all the property's furniture, fixtures, and equipment has been completed. A redeployment and liquidation plan is being implemented.

A Request for Proposal for the design-build contract related to the new facility and two of PPLD's existing facilities affected by the expansion is currently open.

A new web page dedicated to the project, a virtual tour of the property, and an FAQ about changing library service are poised to be launched.

The next phase of the initiative will be much more visible and there will be opportunities for you to give us your thoughts and ideas. Stay tuned!

thrilled!

I am thrilled about this new building!! We are in the Briargate area and use that library only rarely. Why? It is cramped, difficult to park in, and the children's section (where we spend most of our time) is split--children's nonfiction in one area of the library and fiction in another. As a mother of young children, I only allow my kids to stay with me and I can't be at two places at once. I agree the need for a new facility here is important. It will certainly increase our time at the library!

New Library Building

Again developing the west at the expense of the east; putting up a new facility west of Powers while there remains no library facilities for the 100,000+ residents east of Powers Blvd where kids at 2 high schools, 6 middle schools, and multiple elemetary schools attend.

Re New Library Building Comment

You raise a legitimate concern. Balancing our facilities and service needs among the 600,000 residents and the large geographic area we serve is a delicate and difficult balancing act. The East and Southeast section of our service area is underserved, and I assure you it is still at the top of our priorities. In fact, four years ago, we were very close to purchasing land near Stetson and Powers, but that negotiation fell through: the owners decided not to sell it after nearly a year of discussion. Then, two years ago, PPLD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the YMCA and the City of Colorado Springs for utilization of a piece of city-owned property near First & Main Town Center. The project, if realized, will be a joint Y and Library facility, with shared parking and programming space, on City-owned land that would also be developed for parks and sports. This project has not moved to the next phase due to the difficult funding situation faced by all three entities. The costs of building a new facility are in the neighborhood of $250/SF, and the library portion of that facility was projected at 50,000 square feet.

In the meantime, our Briargate Library facility usage has exceeded its physical capacity. The borrowing level at Briargate is encroaching on the same borrowing level of our downtown Penrose Library facility. We cannot expand Briargate in its current facility, which is leased, so we needed to move the operation to a bigger space prior to the lease being up. The value of the former MCI building, which could accommodate the current Briargate operation as well as a new regional computer commons at a fraction of the cost of building new, provided a once in a century opportunity. In addition, the operating costs of this facility will be mitigated, as staffing and furnishings will be redeployed from the existing leased facility. We will be serving 60,000 - 90,000 residents with this new northern facility.

We did build a small facility in Falcon last year, on donated land and with extensive grant funding, and it is being heavily used. We will be installing another dispenser at our Express Library kiosk at First & Main Town Center soon. We continue to look for options in the East/Southeast areas, and we know that service to this area is critical. Donations or heavily discounted property and/or buildings are of immense value to us, as the only capital funds available to us are those that we set aside from our operating revenue. I am hopeful that we will find a cost-effective solution soon.

ouch!

ouch!