Library partnership won’t work, commissioners and director say |

Library partnership won’t work, commissioners and director say

Ryan GraffPost Independent Staff

Garfield County has too little time and too little money to make the partnership between the county library system and Glenwood Springs High School work, the county commissioners and library director said Tuesday.”It’s a very complex merger,” Commissioner Trési Houpt said. “I think the time to talk about this would have been when the design committee was put together for the high school.”RTA Architects hoped the county would decide whether or not to partner with the Roaring Fork School District by August, then hire an engineer to work on its portion of the library for a project that could begin as early as January, county administrator Ed Green said.That just isn’t enough time, the commissioners said.”I think it is clearly the wrong project at the wrong time,” Commissioner Larry McCown said.If the partnership had worked out, the county would have increased library space in Glenwood Springs from abut 9,500 currently, to about 12,500 in the partnership, Green said. He estimated the project would cost about $150 per square foot, and at least $1.5 million total. That estimate takes into account the notion that if the county participated, the library would be two stories, he said.Green’s $150 per square foot estimate may have been on the high end, RTA principal architect Pat Ziuchkovski said. Either way, the library only has about $200,000 in its general fund, and spending all of it in one community would likely create other problems, director Jaci Spuhler said. The library could also sell its current building if the city of Glenwood Springs – which owns the land, but not the building – agreed. The sale would bring in an additional $400,000 or so, Green said.The county’s capital reserve fund is spoken for until 2009, said McCown, who said he’d have loved to partner had the timing been better. Green’s $150 per square foot estimate may have been on the high end, Ziuchkovski said. Despite the bleak outlook, both county and RTA representatives plan to meet with the school district on July 12.

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