According to a press release sent today, the Pikes Peak Library District will purchase a building near the Chapel Hills Mall once occupied by MCI. The 112,883 square-foot building will now house PPLD's Information Technology Department, Community Engagement and Outreach Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Office, Collection Management, and the PPLD Foundation, all of which were located in other libraries throughout the district.
It will also house a Creative Computer Commons, "a prototype library facility that will provide information technology and electronic resources to the public," and like the other libraries it will offer community meeting space.
The building cost the library $3.75 million, which PPLD had already set aside, along with money for renovations and repairs.
The district plans a tentative opening at the end of 2012.
New Library Facility will Feature Creative Computer Commons and Increase Space Available for Patrons throughout District
Colorado Springs, Colo. (December 1, 2011) — At Pikes Peak Library District’s Board of Trustees Meeting on Tuesday, November 29, the Board voted to take action to purchase a facility adjacent to the Chapel Hills Mall. The facility was formerly occupied by MCI and is located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive on the corner of Chapel Hills Drive and Jamboree Drive. The building is 112,883 square feet (a little less than twice the size of the East Library) and it has two loading docks. This purchase will increase the District’s total square footage by almost 50 percent without any new debt to the residents of El Paso County.
The preliminary contract price is $3.75 million, and it includes a 90-day (cancelable) grace period for PPLD to do the appropriate due diligence work. This equates to approximately $33 per square foot, which compares very favorably to an estimated cost to construct a new library facility of about $250 per square foot. A building of this size would have cost the District $28 million.
The District is using fund balance and the current operating budget to fund the purchase of this facility. There is no debt, and no taxpayer dollars will be used for interest expense. There will be some renovation and repair costs, and the District has money set aside in the budget to cover such costs.
This facility will ease the burden on other heavily used libraries by allowing the District’s Information Technology Department, Community Engagement and Outreach Office, Finance Department, Human Resources Office, Collection Management, and the PPLD Foundation to relocate, thus freeing up space at the East Library, Penrose Library, and the Knights of Columbus office building for other uses such as more space for the public.
The facility will also feature a Creative Computer Commons, a prototype library facility that will provide information technology and electronic resources to the public. Classes will ensure participants are comfortable with technology and have the skills needed in the current job market. Emerging technology will be available for hands-on use. It will offer both educational and entertaining programs and resources. Finally, like all library locations, it will become a community center for its area, with a meeting room, study space, and community partnerships.
“The Pikes Peak Library District is a vibrant entity in which the demand for services increases every year. This transaction will go a long way toward helping our staff meet the increasing needs of our citizens.” said PPLD Chief Finance Officer Michael Varnet.
The timeline for opening is still tentative, but the District hopes to have the new facility open by the end of 2012.