County buys old Glenwood library, plans senior center
Garfield County will go ahead with its planned purchase from Glenwood Springs of the town’s old library building, with plans to use it as a senior center.
Garfield County commissioners Monday approved purchase of the building at 413 Ninth St. for $985,000. Completion of the county’s plan would make Glenwood Springs the final municipality in Garfield County to offer a senior center among its services.
The deal’s closing is set for Feb. 26, and the county has until Feb. 19 to raise objections to the city’s due diligence. Feb. 19 also is the deadline for environmental inspection objections.
That price is also consistent with a recent county appraisal of the property, said commissioners.
The former library is about 5,000 square feet, and its restrooms and accesses are already compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The building has two levels with an elevator to the basement.
The old library at Ninth and Blake also comes with seven off-street parking lots, noted Kevin Batchelder, county manager.
The Glenwood council has already signed off on the contract. The sale of the former library comes after a vote of Glenwood residents in 2014 allowing the city to sell the property. The building reverted to city ownership after the library district opened its new Glenwood Branch Library in the Cooper Commons building in 2013.
Along with the contract, commissioners grappled over a disclosure statement that Batchelder said included little information.
The contract requires the seller to disclose any defects, such as with the building’s plumbing, electricity, heating, ventilation or air conditioning. County Attorney Tari Williams said the city was required to disclose only defects of which it was aware.
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky noted that the city had only owned the property for about a year, and the board eventually agreed to move forward with the contract unanimously.
The county’s contract with Glenwood Springs for the property doesn’t require the county to use it as a senior center, but Commissioner John Martin said the board had committed to buying the former library and making it a multiuse senior center.
A senior center committee, working with Health and Human Services, will spearhead planning for the center’s programs, operations and what kind of remodeling or repair the building might require, said Martin.
Bill Lockwood, a Glenwood Springs resident, encouraged the commissioners to press forward on plans to use the building as a senior center.
A senior center is a civic signal of well-being in any community, said Lockwood, and it doesn’t have to just be a dingy place to play bingo, he added.
Martin said Glenwood Springs will also replace the building’s aging roof. The city estimated the new roof would cost $45,970, according to previous Post Independent stories.
The county’s senior programs director Judy Martin (of no relation to the commissioner) has envisioned classes for exercise, continuing education and book clubs at the new center. The building could also be used by other community organizations looking for space.
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Over 75,000 hikers visited Hanging Lake during this year’s peak season. Via signage, the city hopes to point more of those hikers also in the direction of downtown Glenwood Springs.