Library preservation project fundraising exceeds $1 million

       After more than three years of effort, the Old Colorado City Branch Library building preservation project has gone over the $1 million fundraising mark.
       A recent $100,000 grant from the local El Pomar Foundation did the trick.
       “It's a great benchmark,” enthused Delores Fowler, executive director of the Pikes Peak Library District Foundation, which has spearheaded the fundraising effort. “We've passed that one-million-dollar thing.”
       She said the contribution, which came in response to a foundation request last spring, brings the district to within about $189,000 of the $1.2 million fundraising goal. The private assistance, which has consisted primarily of grants and individual donations, is covering most of the costs of the three-phase project to upgrade Old Colorado City's 103-year-old Carnegie building to modern standards while retaining its historic look and feel.
       Meanwhile, work on Phase 2 - redoing the library interior - continues, with expected completion in the fall. The library has been closed since late April because of the extent of the $809,000 project, which will include a lift between floors, air-conditioning, new mechanical and electrical systems, a basement room for meetings and presentations, enhanced computer capabilities and a remodeled main floor.
       The El Pomar contribution will not mean any visible changes in Phase 2, such as faster completion or more niceties, Old Colorado City Library Manager Julianne Rist explained. What it will do is help repay $250,000 that the Library District loaned to the project in December to help the Phase 2 work get started, she said.
       But Rist is looking forward confidently to Phase 3, which she expects will get started next spring, after the interior work is fully complete. Phase 3 will be the least intensive of the phases, involving outside landscaping and parking lot improvements.
       In other library news… The Library District is offering free “hard-hat tours” of the Phase 2 construction. The tours will take people through the work areas on the main floor and in the basement. “We want to get people excited about what's happening,” Fowler said, “ and show them what their gifts have done.”
       The tentative dates during the week are Tuesdays and Thursdays. People wanting to go on tours are asked to make reservations by calling Fowler at 531-6333, x2205.

Westside Pioneer article