OCC Library fund-raising for Phase 2

       Having all but completed Phase 1 of its preservation project, the Old Colorado City Library is actively fund-raising so it can get started on Phase 2.
       “We have about $800,000 left to raise,” said Library Manager Julianne Rist.
       This may seem like plenty, but it could have been considerably higher. According to Rist, the Phase 1 exterior work came in at about $250,000 - about $200,000 under budget.
       As a result, that savings can be applied to Phase 2's interior upgrades, the cost of which is estimated at $983,000.
       The overall project, three phases in all, was initially estimated at $1.7 million, but that number is now reduced to $1.4 million, Rist said.
       The hope is to start the Phase 2 work by summer. Construction plans, which are currently 75 percent complete and being reviewed by the State Historic Fund (which had provided a grant for Phase 1), are expected to be 100 percent by then.
       The Phase 2 improvements will mean “an increase of services and access” for the public at the 101-year-old Carnegie Library, Rist said. Work will include updated heating and cooling systems, new electrical wiring, new ceiling, reinforced roof and woodwork, additional computers for public use, and an expanded basement meeting room with an elevator to access it.
       Implemented by contractor G.E. Johnson, Phase 1 started last spring. Still remaining are some minor tuck pointing (the mortar between bricks) on the west and south walls and a stone door sill that's still to be put in, Rist said. Also, two of the front steps need final sandstone covers.
       Bids will go out to hire a Phase 2 contractor when the time comes. Rist had hoped to continue seamlessly from Phase 1 to 2, but work will not be able to start until the funds are in place.
       Private donations and the state grant paid the Phase 1 costs. Some Pikes Peak Library District money was used for some of the preliminary work, but no district funds have been available for any of the phases. Rist said that in addition to an appeal to the general public, she has been contacting foundations as part of the fund-raising effort.

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