More than three years ago, while still in the planning stages of building the new library, the Lyons Regional Library District (LRLD) applied to Boulder County for a Boulder County Worthy Cause Grant (BCWC). Darcie Sanders, a board member at the time, led the charge on this grant but was initially skeptical that the Library would get the full amount requested ($175,000) or maybe not anything at all. But soon after, Boulder County responded and was prepared to award Lyons the full amount requested. Happy day! But that came with a long list of needed actions and information requests.
The BCWC grant is for capital funding only—meaning it must be spent on the building. Notably, the LRLD Board needed to assure the county that the building would be used as a library for 99 years and that the board would continue to provide essential services to library patrons over the full term. After what feels like almost 99 years, and literally hundreds of emails and phone calls later, the Lyons Community Library has finally received the grant.
Although the library building is now complete, albeit not in full use due to the pandemic, the LRLD board has accepted the grant and plans to use it to make a big improvement: solar power. This was in the original plan for the building but was cut to keep the construction budget in line with the funding on hand. Now, the LRLD Board has the opportunity to fulfill its obligation to the library district to make our building not only the most beautiful building in town but also the most progressive and sustainable.
Building Committee chair Sandy Banta developed the plan to install solar, and we have hired Wember, Inc. to manage the process of the capital improvement project. Quentin Rockwell, who served as “owner’s representative” during construction of the library building, will take the lead for Wember and will issue a “request for proposal” (RFP) for a “design-build contract” within the next couple of weeks. The schedule is to complete the project by early summer 2021.
Sandy Banta analyzed the library’s current electricity consumption and how much power generation can be anticipated from solar panels on the entire south-facing roof. She estimates that the library solar will generate 20% more electricity than the library currently uses. But the LRLD board’s objective is only partly to save on electricity costs. The goal is to be a leader in Lyons and converting this beautiful new building to renewable energy is the right thing to do. And the grant from Boulder County makes this the right time to do it.
Expect to see construction begin in late April. If the library is open again by then, our contractor will have committed to making sure library patrons have easy and safe access to the building. The board is also planning to use this conversion as an educational opportunity and will establish a “solar energy information center” in the library.
Other items of note for your library:
==· You may have seen the new bear on the corner of 4th and Railroad Avenues. He’s very happy there but he needs a name. Any ideas? Submit your naming suggestion to Kara Bauman, Lyons Community Library, PO Box 619, Lyons 80540 or email@example.com.
==· David Selden has agreed to become the newest member of the LRLD board. David has a background in library science and will be a welcome addition. However, the board is still two members short and would welcome applications from district residents. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the future of Lyons. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you an application.
==· On January 15, the library will be starting its first Winter Reading Program over a three month period, with ideas on both books to read and activities to do, which will result in you earning points for prizes. It is open to children and adults. Winter Reading Program: Warm up to Great Books
==· There is a free Author Talk Thursday, January 14, at 7 p.m. with 2020 Colorado Book Award Finalist and author of “The Lampblack Blue of Memory” Sarah Adleman, via Zoom. Registration is at: https://bit.lyladleman