County libraries excited about building projects |

County libraries excited about building projects

Library Spotlight
Amelia Shelley
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Amelia Shelley

The Garfield County Public Library District is growing.

Two new libraries are in the planning stages, at Rifle and Parachute, with continuing discussions in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle and Silt about the facilities in those communities. The district is working with architect Bruce Flynn of Barker Rinker Seatcat and the construction firm of Adolphson and Peterson to construct the new libraries.

The approximately 3,500-square-foot expansion of the Parachute Branch Library will add a public meeting room to hold at least 100 people, larger children’s and teen areas, reading areas, expanded offices and storage, and improvements to the parking lot. The addition will take advantage of the beautiful views to the north and east of the building and preserve the park-like exterior. The meeting room will be available to civic groups as well as library programs, and should be available for use outside regular library hours. The next public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 29 at the Parachute Branch Library to give the community a chance to weigh in on the plans.

The Rifle Branch Library will be a new 22,000-square-foot facility with a large public meeting room, larger collections, study rooms, separate children’s area and story time room, teen space, adequate staff and storage areas, administrative office space and attractive outdoor areas. The district is partnering with the city of Rifle to create an outdoor civic plaza to accommodate activities such as the farmers market and other events. Also in the design is adequate parking for both facilities with a goal of 140 spaces to provide additional parking for downtown businesses.

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The parking lot and civic plaza will be a joint venture between the city, the library district and the Rifle Downtown Development Association. Demolition of several empty structures on East Second Street will take place in May, and the district is contemplating moving to a temporary location later this summer to facilitate construction. The next public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 30 in the Council Chambers of Rifle City Hall, 202 Railroad Ave. For more information on either of these meetings, contact the library administration office at 625-4270.

The Garfield County Public Library District is working on developing workable solutions for the libraries in the other four municipalities in the county. The town of Silt is planning to create a joint meeting room with the district in an expanded Silt Branch Library facility for the Silt Town Council and other community meetings. The district has been meeting with the Library Site Selection Committee formed by the town of Carbondale, and has been identifying and rating potential sites in the downtown core. The committee is also continuing to work with the towns of New Castle and Glenwood Springs on potential library sites. While the district does not have a firm schedule, we intend to continue to prioritize projects and bring them online as quickly as is economically feasible.

I hope this update addresses questions you may have about the building program created in 2006 when the district was formed. We want to move forward quickly on new or improved library facilities, but recognize each is a joint effort with the community it serves. We are trying to respect each municipality’s concerns and plans for community development.

We encourage your input. Feel free to call me at 625-4270 or e-mail me at with any questions or concerns you have about creating a wonderful library for your community.

Amelia Shelley is executive director of the Garfield County Public Library District.

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