Uses for old library before Glenwood Springs council
Ryan Summerlin June 7, 2014
Proposals ranging from a senior center to space for a museum or arts center to new headquarters for the Salvation Army are before Glenwood Springs City Council as possibilities for use of the former Glenwood Branch Library building.
Earlier this spring, the city issued a request for ideas for re-using the building at 413 Ninth St., which reverted to city ownership along with the underlying property after the new library was completed at Eighth and Cooper last year.
Council will begin weighing the proposals at its regular meeting tonight, beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall. No decisions are expected, unless council moves to ask city voters whether to sell the property, which would need to be considered in time for the fall election cycle.
One of the proposals received suggests just that.
“I realize that for most citizens this may not be their initial first choice,” Glenwood Springs resident Bryan Whiting wrote in an email to city manager Jeff Hecksel.
But there are advantages to selling the property, Whiting said, including putting prime downtown commercial property back on the tax rolls and providing new space for a startup or relocated business.
“In my opinion, these advantages far outweigh any potential use by a nonprofit or other entity which may be nice, but not the best use of this property,” Whiting wrote.
The most publicized potential use to date comes from the Garfield County commissioners, who have suggested turning the former library into a senior and community center that “caters to the interests and needs of the segment of population 65+, but other segments as well,” according to the county’s proposal.
Other requests for use of the facility on a lease basis include:
• Additional programming space for dance and visual arts classes through the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts.
• Office space for the Garfield County Housing Authority.
• Office, programming and meeting space for a coalition of nonprofit groups, including Mountain Valley Developmental Services, the Advocate Safehouse Project, CASA of the Ninth and the Family Visitor Program.
• A new museum and history education center location for the Frontier Historical Society.
• New offices and distribution center for the local Salvation Army poverty and emergency assistance programs.