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Old Colorado City Library worker Riho Sakai pushes a cart up the ramp with returns from the drop box in the parking lot. According to a request for quotes that the library has issued, the walls shown in the photo (except the low one in front of the no-parking sign) are to be tiled in a project this winter and spring. The ramp she's on allows access to the library's west entrance (not shown), as well as to the alley above (via the switchback at far right).
Westside Pioneer photo

Library seeks quotes for community-geared art project to tile walls around concrete ramp at back of parking lot

       Looking to jazz up the concrete ramp area at the back of its parking lot, the Old Colorado City Library is moving forward on a plan to adorn four walls there with permanent colored tiles.
       A request for quotes (RFQ) has been made available, with an application deadline date of Sept. 22.
       “We're looking to get the word out to as many artists as we can,” said library manager Jocelyne Sansing.
       Roughly 50 feet in length and with walls of varying heights, the ramp does a switchback as it gains elevation between the lot and the alley just north of the library property. So, the ramp has two of the four walls that will be tiled. The other two are at the base of the ramp and behind the bike rack just west of that, the RFQ shows.
       The work is not meant simply as a job for a contractor to implement. The selected entity is expected to work with the community, according to the RFQ.
       Sansing agreed that the concept is similar to that of the tile project in Bancroft Park this summer, in which numerous local volunteers helped a local arts company to place mosaic tiles around lamp-post bases.
       Regarding the intended appearance in the ramp area, “proposals need to include designs that blend both 'old and new' into an overall aesthetically pleasing and complementary property,” the RFQ states.
       An RFQ is being used instead of a request for proposals (RFP) mainly to give library staff an idea of what such a project might cost, Sansing said. Staff has not made an advance estimate of its own. “We're interested in a quote because we want to see what artists can do in the space before we decide what we can come up with in funds,” she said.
       The library funds are those budgeted for capital improvements by the Pikes Peak Library District, plus a “combination of donations, revenues and leftover project money,” Sansing explained.
       The RFQ calls for the contract to be awarded by Sept. 30 and the project to be completed by May 1, 2015.
       According to the document, the chosen submittal will not be based on cost alone. “Projects that incorporate community involvement will be given priority,” the RFQ states; it also requests bidders to define the “specific ways” that involvement will occur.
       Other criteria will include the project's artistic and educational content, material quality and references, the RFQ indicates.
       The document adds that after the installation is done, the resulting product must “require no maintenance,” the RFQ adds.
       Applicants need to have a business license, the necessary insurance and evidence of “experience in quality craftsmanship by submitting a reference list of at least two references,” the RFQ states.
       The Old Colorado City Library manager since 2008, Sansing said she started thinking about improving the look of the ramp area about four years ago. Her initial idea was to bring in graffiti artists - she described positive experiences with that concept at libraries in her native Wisconsin - but after meeting with the Pikes Peak Library District a tile project was agreed on.
       Anyone interested in preparing an RFQ for the project can contact Trish Blakely of the OCC library at eblakely@ppld.org.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 9/8/14; Community: Old Colorado City Library)

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