Library district breaks ground on expansions

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Pikes Peak Library District officials broke ground on renovations Friday at a new facility, slated to open in the summer, at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive.

More than a hundred community members and library supporters celebrated at a gala event, according to a news release, which marked the beginning of the district’s Tri-Building Project, a renovation of three PPLD facilities that will create more than 100­,000 square feet of  new public library space. These projects include:

North Facility: 70,000 square feet of new library space, 30,000 of which will house relocation of consolidated administrative offices and back-of-the-house library operations, from East and Penrose libraries. 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.

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.

The project will not incur debt and expanded operations will be operated within current library budget projections–however, the project still needs $4.1 million in fundraising over the next 3 years. For more information, visit ppld.org/foundation.

Borrowing of materials at PPLD has increased roughly 5 percent 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 its level of service to the community, according to the release.

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.