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Garfield County to acquire old Glenwood Springs library building

The former Glenwood Springs Branch Library building at 413 Ninth St., which is currently owned by the city, is about to be sold to Garfield County and could eventually house a new senior center.
Chelsea Self | Post Independent

Garfield County is set to purchase the former Glenwood Springs library building at Ninth and Blake from the city for $985,000, with the intention of eventually operating a senior center there.

City Council last week gave the go-ahead to close on the sale, which is expected to occur before the end of the year. City voters last year authorized the sale of the property, which reverted to the city after the Garfield County Public Library District opened the new Glenwood Branch Library in the Cooper Commons building at Eighth and Cooper in 2013.

In recent years, the council solicited ideas from citizens and community organizations for use of the building. Twice the county submitted its proposal to use it for various programs aimed at local senior citizens.



Other proposals would have involved a lease arrangement of some sort with the city. But council ultimately decided it would rather sell the property, and the county has been the most willing to take ownership.

The city will, however, replace the roof prior to the sale after repeated attempts to try to repair the aging structure and fix some leaks that had developed.



“With winter approaching it may be in the city’s best interest to replace the old roof before any structural damage happens,” according to a city staff memo that was presented to City Council at its Nov. 19 meeting. Council agreed to proceed with the work, at a cost of $45,970.

Meanwhile, Garfield County Commission Chairman John Martin and senior programs officials for years have been wanting to establish a senior center in Glenwood Springs. Each of the other five municipalities in the county has some sort of senior center.

“We are looking at a multi-generational senior center where we can have a variety of programs,” Martin said, adding the commissioners will work with the county’s senior programs officials to determine how best to utilize the facility.

The approximately 5,000-square-foot building includes a main floor and lower level with elevator access and ADA-compliant restrooms and building access.

Martin said the funds to complete the purchase will come from the county’s 2015 capital budget, rather than next year’s budget. The $985,000 purchase price is based on an appraisal done by the county, which the city agreed to, Martin said.

“We will have some carry over to do the renovations and other repairs that are needed,” he said.

The facility will not be able to accommodate a full commercial-scale kitchen. However, it may be possible to use it for one of Glenwood’s senior meals sites, said Judy Martin (no relation), director of senior programs for the county.

Meals are already prepared off site for existing locations, including at the Colorado Mountain College Blake Center and the Sunnyside retirement home.

“We will need to do a full walk-through and have a conversation with our seniors in Glenwood Springs and see what their vision is for this facility,” Judy Martin said.

Among the possibilities would be space for exercise classes, educational classes, games and book clubs, plus larger activity space and meeting rooms that other organizations could also use, she said.

“I can easily picture a larger meeting space that could be used by the community,” she said.

Input will also be sought from the county’s senior programs advisory board and the county Council on Aging, she said.


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