Mesa County Public Library
Peggy Foster, President
Dave Soderborg, Vice President
Kevin Bray, Secretary/Treasurer
Mesa County Public Library
District Board of Trustees
Linda Davidson, President
Joe Taylor, Vice President
Laurie Tashiro, Secretary
Eve Tallman, Library Director
Lois Becker, Development Director
Thank you for your support!
Letter to the Community
The Central Library in downtown Grand Junction has long been a destination for people to read, study, meet, and seek information and entertainment in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere. The Mesa County Libraries are now faced with the demands of growing use, and it is time for the library to move forward to meet new expectations.
The Mesa County Public Library Foundation is pleased to announce the Help Us Meet the Future campaign, a $1.25 million fundraising effort to assist the Mesa County Libraries in the planned expansion and improvement of the Central Library. The project’s goal is to create a modern, efficient, and environmentally sustainable Central Library that is flexible enough to adapt to the varied and changing demands of its many visitors. More than 65% of library patrons in Mesa County use the Central Library, which boasts a healthy daily visitor count of 1,500 people.
Total cost for the project is expected to be approximately $6.7 million, which encompasses new construction, furnishings and equipment, and other related costs such as architect fees, temporary relocation, permits, demolition and asbestos removal, and site improvement. The Mesa County Public Library District Trustees plan to dedicate $5.5 million in capital funds toward the project. Those funds consist of capital savings resulting from sound financial stewardship by the district in the past, as well as expected capital savings in 2012 and 2013. For the past several years, library management has been mindful of the library’s long-term goal to undertake a Central Library Project to meet the needs of library patrons and the community.
Additional funding for the Central Library Project will come from the Foundation’s capital campaign, and that’s where library supporters within the community become crucial to helping the Central Library meet the future. Please review the accompanying materials, and then join the Foundation in supporting this project. Your gift will help ensure that the Central Library includes the exciting features that will enable it to serve our community for the next 30 years. Thank you for your past support and unwavering loyalty.
Peggy Foster, President
Mesa County Public Library Foundation
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from the City
The Central Library is located at a major crossroad in north downtown Grand Junction. Its proximity to the bustling downtown area makes the Central Library a place people visit while doing other business in the area. As the largest facility in the county-wide system, this location attracts 65% of the district’s library users.
Most of the Library District’s public events occur at this site. The program room’s current capacity is inadequate for the many standing-room-only events that the library hosts, and its layout is not conducive to high-quality presentations and communication between speakers and audiences. The Central Library Project plan calls for construction of a new, larger program area in the form of an easily accessible, street- level community room to serve up to 150 people.
The Central Library’s electrical system will be upgraded and modernized. Heating and air systems will be improved to enhance the comfort of library visitors, and a new elevator is planned to better serve patrons.
Public service areas in the current building are inefficient and can be confusing. The checkout area will be redesigned and reconfigured with much-improved flow to enable easy checkouts for patrons and to create better staff efficiency in processing library materials and getting books back on the shelves quickly.
Prudent budget planning by library staff enables the library to pay for the expansion and improvement project. During the last five years, each library department reduced expenditures for ongoing library operations while improving public service. As a result, the library will direct reserves amounting to $3.7 million to help pay for the proposed Central Library Project. An additional $1.8 million will come from budget funds planned to be set aside from years 2012 and 2013. Those reserves and budget funds represent 82% of the current project cost. The Mesa County Public Library Foundation determined that a $1.25 million capital campaign will help the Library District complete the Central Library Project and hold on to some reserves, as plans to add a new northwest branch and expand facilities in Clifton are both being considered for the library’s future. The combined $5.5 million from the district and $1.25 million from funds raised total $6.75 million.
The Library District plans to expand and improve the current Central Library without increasing property taxes. This project will create a new identity for the downtown library using the existing building. The current structure was built in the 1950s as a Safeway grocery store; in 1974, the Central Library moved in and has since served as an anchor to this busy downtown area. New features within the scope of the project will be both functional and efficient. Once completed, the library will be renewed and will gain a whole new public appeal of which library patrons can be proud.
seeks to raise
to assist the
will serve the
the next 30
- Add 9,000 square feet to the existing Central Library for patron and
community use, increasing total size to approximately 45,000 square feet.
- Greatly increase the Central Library’s capacity for programs and
- Provide significantly more places within the Central Library for people to read,
study, and meet.
- Remodel the existing library to update infrastructure and allow more
interior natural light.
- Consolidate library support services from three buildings into one structure,
improving efficiency in workflow and reduced energy costs.
The Central Library moved into a former Safeway grocery store building in 1974, and that tradition of cost-effective sustainability continues with the Central Library Project. The project plans involve a variety of environmentally sound and sustainable elements, including:
- Re-use of significant portions of the existing structure
- Flexible space and efficient use of furnishings
- The purchase of many local goods and services
- Updated heating and cooling systems
- Recycling of operational waste
- Bringing sunlight indoors while controlling heat gain and loss
- Photovoltaic panels
The project is intended to produce a Central Library that will adequately serve the community for 30 years or longer.
trustees plan to
Timeline of Events
- Beginning in 1999, the Library District set a course for a new Central Library.
- Between 2000 and 2004, the Library Foundation accumulated property for a proposed new facility. Voters rejected raising taxes for this cause.
- In 2006, overdue updates were made as the first phase of renewing and updating the Central Library.
- In 2007, collaboration talks began with the Downtown Development Authority and City planners to look at an urban development plan.
- Collaborations with library partners regarding an urban plan stalled around 2010 as economic uncertainty arose.
- By summer of 2011, library officials looked independently at an option for needed expansion and renovation of the Central Library.
- In February 2012, the library Board of Trustees approved a design team for the Central Library Project.
- A full board review will be conducted later in 2012 for final approval to undertake the construction project.
- August 2011 – A planning group of Foundation board members and community residents began discussions to determine library funding needs for the Central Library Project.
- May 2012 – The Foundation approved a $1,250,000 capital campaign titled Help Us Meet the Future, signifying that the project will transform the Central Library into a library that will serve the needs of patrons and the community well into the future.
- Summer 2012 – The Foundation will seek grants for the project and will launch a community campaign effort to seek financial support.
The re-use of the former Safeway grocery store, shown to be of sound construction, demonstrates a sustainable and cost-effective approach to the Central Library Project. Available capital reserves will provide 82% of funds needed for the expansion and interior improvements. Fundraising by the Mesa County Public Library Foundation secures the additional funding needed to complete the project. The Mesa County Public Library District will not take a voter initiative request to Mesa County residents to increase their property taxes for this plan. In the end, the project, once rolled out and completed, will provide Mesa County residents with a civic point of pride and a library designed to efficiently meet the information and educational needs of citizens for at least the next three decades. This effort will position the Central Library as a modern and sustainable facility, ready to meet the growing need for library services in our community.
For consistent updates on the Central Library Project construction, please see our project blog.