Getting closer: New Clifton Branch more than 80% complete

Preparations begin for the installation of pavement in what is to become the drive-up service area of the new Clifton Branch Library. (Photos on this page by Jennifer Deering, Mesa County Libraries)

The new Clifton Branch is now more than 80% complete, and construction is expected to wrap up by early August.  

In the past month, interior and exterior work has continued, with windows, doors, electrical, and plumbing systems being installed, along with tile work and fixtures in restrooms. In July, carpeting and flooring will be installed as finish work on the inside of the building nears completion. A committee made up of local residents, artists, and Clifton Branch staff will review art submitted for the new library in mid-July.

On the outside of the building, the nearly finished stone and stucco exterior echoes the colors of the nearby Bookcliffs with a natural warmth, and a drive-up window on the south side of the building will provide patrons with a quick option to pick up books without leaving the comfort of their vehicle! Paving and striping of the parking lot will be completed later in July.     

One question community residents often ask about the new Clifton Branch is how the library is paying for this much-needed facility without needing to take out loans or ask county residents for a tax increase. (Fun fact: The library district’s mill levy hasn’t changed since 1996!) Thanks to careful spending and saving and good investments by the Mesa County Public Library District through the years, library trustees designated $8 million to this $11.5 million project. The remaining $3.5 million are being raised by the Mesa County Libraries Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created in 1994 to help raise money for library projects through grants and private donations.  

The Foundation is now just over $100,000 away from that $3.5 million goal. To recognize the many individual, family, and business donors whose generous gifts have helped to make this new library possible, a local business – Confluence Woodcraft – is crafting a Clifton Branch donor recognition display, which will use reclaimed wood to give the appearance of a bookshelf with a custom laser-engraved “book” for each donor who has contributed at least $250 to the new library. To find out more about how you can support the new Clifton Branch and have your family or business name included on the donor wall, please contact Ami Schiffbauer, Development Director, at 970-683-2438.

The new Clifton Branch is located at 3170 D 1/2 Road, next to Rocky Mountain Elementary School. The 17,800-square-foot building is about three times the size of the current Clifton Branch and will be better able to serve the 20,000 people who live in the branch’s service area. The Clifton Branch is the second-busiest location among Mesa County Libraries’ eight locations, behind only the Central Library in downtown Grand Junction.  


Sippin’ in the Stacks – Save the Date!

The Mesa County Libraries Foundation will host our first “Sippin in the Stacks” event at the new Clifton Branch to show our appreciation for those who have helped to make this library possible.

Donors will get a sneak peek at the new library before it opens to the public, along with an assortment of beverages and light snacks. This event will be by invitation only from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Please contact Ami Schiffbauer, Development Director, at 970-683-2438 or to make a donation and reserve your spot.

A grand opening celebration of the new library for the public is planned for Saturday, Oct. 7. More information will be available about that event as plans develop!

A temporary air handling unit has been installed at the new Clifton Branch to ensure that the facility will open on schedule despite supply chain issues that have delayed the delivery of a few permanent heating and cooling components.


With masonry work now complete, the Community Fireplace in the new Clifton Branch awaits its finishing touches.


Framework for the wooden “Ceiling Clouds” makes rapid progress high above what is to become the main collection area of the new Clifton Branch.


Fresh concrete for curbs, gutters, and medians takes shape in the area that is to become the main parking lot for the new Clifton Branch.

Posted in Branches, General, Library News.

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