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Architects offer virtual look at library interior

Illustration courtesy Humphries Poli ArchitectsA preliminary floor plan for the main floor of the planned new Glenwood Springs Library building at Eighth and Cooper includes a large main library area (depicted in light blue), children's area (green), teen area (darker blue), quiet reading room (light pink), meeting rooms (yellow), and staff office area (dark pink).
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Building designs for the planned new Glenwood Springs Branch Library will be refined to reflect the city’s downtown historic design codes once the project moves beyond the concept stage, the lead architect on the project said.

As it stands, though, any drawings are still in the schematic design phase, Dennis Humphries of Humphries Poli Architects emphasized during a public presentation Monday of the plans to date.

“That means we’re about 15 percent into this effort,” Humphries told about two dozen library patrons and Garfield County Public Library District officials gathered at the existing Ninth and Blake library building.



“It’s a little more than an idea, but it does need to be polished,” he said of the plans to construct a new library building nearby, at the southwest corner of Eighth and Cooper, as part of a larger downtown redevelopment project.

During a formal conceptual review of the plans last week, Glenwood Springs City Council members were critical of some of the sketches, saying the building depicted by the architects would not fit the historical character of the downtown area.



Those comments were taken to heart, Humphries said, and efforts will be made to incorporate the city’s design guidelines as the project moves along.

The Monday presentation was more focused on the library floorplan and internal workings of the planned new facility.

As envisioned, the library would take the 14,000-square-foot first floor of the new two-story, 28,000-square-foot shared civic building.

The main entrance would be on Cooper Avenue at the south end of the building.

That area is also to include a 6,000-square-foot outdoor public plaza.

“This has the potential to be a very festive area,” Humphries said.

Inside, a 1,000-square-foot meeting room would be accessed off of the main lobby, separate from the library itself so that it could be used after hours.

Also located off the lobby would be a library book drop, restrooms and a stairway to the second floor.

The main-floor library would include a large main library area with a central circulation desk, book stacks and computer stations. There would also be dedicated areas for teens and younger children, a quiet reading room, an outdoor reading deck, smaller study areas, a conference room, and library staff offices and work areas.

Literacy Outreach, a separate organization that is located in the current library, would also have space in the new library.

“We see each of the spaces as being very flexible, with movable furniture,” Humphries said.

The second floor is proposed to be split between future library needs, approximately 4,000 square feet, while the rest would be dedicated to future classrooms, meeting space and offices for Colorado Mountain College.

CMC is currently renovating the upper levels of the adjacent building at 802 Grand Ave. for its new central services operations. An elevated walkway between the two buildings is also envisioned.

This area will be built as an open shell to start, while those future uses are still being determined.

“There are some unique opportunities for this space, including a larger community space for fundraising events or visiting authors,” Humphries said.

“We are also trying to facilitate the CMC gallery within this building and to have art spread throughout the building,” he said.

The new building would allow the library to eventually expand from 25,000 items currently to about 45,000 items, including books and other nonelectronic items, Garfield County Public Library Director Amelia Shelley said during the meeting.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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