by William J. Bechaver
WALSENBURG- With so much attention focused on the new library-in-progress on Walsen Avenue, it is sometimes overlooked that our current library is working at full force, continuously offering resources and opportunities to our community. Presently, the summer reading programs for children and teens are in full swing. In conjunction with The Black Diamond Jubilee, the Friends of the Library held a book sale for Saturday, June 21, featuring a number of hardcover bestsellers.
Many inquiries have been received about the use of space on the second floor of the new building. The current plans at the new location do not include the preparation of the upper floors ready for use. However, most of the necessary infrastructure required to prepare the second floor of the new location will be completed now. Those improvements will include the elevator and approved stairway, providing access to the second and third stories from the north entrance. The new energy-efficient windows will be installed on the second floor as well, and the new geothermal heating and cooling system has been sized to accommodate the second floor, though the heat pumps will not be installed until decisions can be made about the usage of the space.
The building will offer many community groups a usable workspace for their programs, projects, and activities. A number of interested community groups have been encouraged to work together to find a way to manage the space. Additional funding for this project would be readily available in the form of grants, but interested groups would be charged with securing these funds to prepare the area to accommodate their specific needs. Necessary improvements which would still be required on the second floor would include a fire sprinkler system, new electrical fixtures, two new bathrooms, and the removal of the old plaster ceilings to reinforce the upper floors for future occupancy. Then, final finishes could commence, with new flooring, paint and any room changes that would be required by the occupant.
The Board of Trustees of the Library is looking for volunteers to help plan the move and the ensuing grand opening celebration. If you would be interested in becoming involved in this process, please contact the library at 738-2774 or talk to any member of the Board at your earliest convenience.