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First News Spring 2007

Old Structure Breathes New Life

   For one hundred years the Spanish Peaks Library has served the people of Huerfano County by providing children a place to grow and learn, teens a supportive environment to complete their studies, and job seekers the ability to improve their skills or review employment listings, even a place for historians to conduct their research. But the present library of 2,500 square feet is bursting at the seams. There is, however, a wonderful, spacious, historic building just waiting to be transformed into the new Spanish Peaks Library since the district took possession of the former Huerfano County High School building in December 2006. The building, designed in 1919 by I.H. & W.M. Rapp and A.C. Hendrickson of Trinidad, was saved from demolition but is in need of repair. A rehabilitation plan has been implemented along with an approved budget, a contractor and an architect's design.

   A fundraising campaign, seeking $500,000, is underway to commence phase one (the first floor) of this project. Work is being done to stabilize the core and shell of the former high school, replace sub-standard electrical and mechanical systems to include a new cooling system and fire sprinklers, as well as reinforce the main floor joists before the library can move into the space. Eventually, additional funds will be sought to add a new parking lot and entry with stairway, and an elevator to provide access to the second and third floors as well as new furnishings for the library. In order to complete these supplementary phases another $950,000 needs to be raised. Over the course of this year, a new development officer is planning several fundraising events, community projects, and media coverage to keep the public informed.

   Once completed, the 9,000-square-foot first floor area will have designated areas for children, teens, quiet reading, additional work space for staff, and increased shelf space to accommodate all formats, i.e. videos, audio books, large print books, CDs, DVDs, etc. The new library will meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and provide sufficient parking, a community meeting space, and a room for genealogical research. Monica Kirby, Library Director, expresses her sincere gratitude for all who have supported their fundraising drive to create a library that will benefit the public far into the 21st century.



Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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