by William J. Bechaver
WALSENBURG- Many have noticed the conversion of the old Huerfano County High School building on Walsen Avenue to the new Spanish Peaks Library.
To date, the piping has been installed into the ground on the north end of the building where the new parking lot will be situated. The piping will cycle water through an expansive system of pipes and pumps for the state-of-the-art geothermal environmental control system, which will cool the building during the summer as well as heat it during winter.
Also at the north end of the building, the superstructure is currently being constructed to house the main entry to the building, the elevator, and a new stairway to the upper floors.
All of the older, less functional windows have been removed from the building. They are currently being replaced by newer, double-pane, energy efficient windows. The Colorado State Historical Society requires that the new windows match the building’s original windows in appearance. So, when the renovation is completed, the appearance of the building will match photos of it as it originally looked when it was built nearly a century ago.
Once these major projects are completed, then the work on the interior of the building can begin in earnest, bringing the building up to current safety codes and converting the available space into functional work spaces to house a viable, modern library while preserving the historic value of the original structure. Plans have been drawn up and approved by the Historical Society which will make our new library not only one of the best research and study facilities in the state but also a coordinated blending of the old and the new.