Boulder Library’s North Branch groundbreaking, a 30 year dream come true
The groundbreaking for the long anticipated North Boulder Library BRANCH happened in April, and the opening date will be in 2024. Many supporters of the Boulder County libraries (including the Carnegie Library that stores history records of Boulder County) came from Lyons, including its matriarch LaVern Johnson.
“It is our city’s first new branch in 36 years, and its first public building in North Boulder,” said Barge, Executive Director of Boulder Library Foundation. “The 11,000 square-foot building is an architectural work of art and will be surrounded by a public plaza, an outdoor maker space, a playground and a learning garden. Inside, there will be open areas and places to study and learn and connect. The Boulder Reads adult literacy program will be headquartered upstairs. Some of the plans are still unrealized due to a funding gap created by the escalating costs of construction. Namely, the 1,100 square-foot Culinary Maker Space the community requested will instead be a big empty flex space, unless our donors step up and help us raise the final $585K of our $1.5M Capital Campaign.”
This dream of a northern extension of Boulder Library has been in the works for more than 30 years. In 2018, the Library Master Plan made this a reality by putting it in as a community and workplan priority. Construction is expected to take about a year.
Bits and pieces were developed over the years. An initial plan was devised in the 1980s. And a piece of property was chosen and the preferred spot back in 1999. Some of the considerations were: it had to be a large lot to accommodate a high-quality, multiple purpose building with appropriate outdoor space and adequate parking. It also had to be outside of the city’s floodplain. The location is accessible by public transit, as well as biking and walking.
Two things that were considered in the choice was the neighborhood, which includes Boulder Meadows and Ponderosa, that has been unserved for decades. With this in consideration, the branch will serve as the new center for adult literacy and language learning, as well as providing additional after-school programs..
You may recall that the Library Foundation participated in the fight to (1) develop a Library District, and (2) and be involved in the Boulder Community, Culture and Safety Tax recently. Add that to the Developmental Excise Tax; Impact Fees; and the Library Fund. The overall budget for the planning, design and construction of the facility is $12.5 million. A few specialty items will have to wait for more fundraising and grants.
More information about the campaign for the new library branch is available at boulderlibraryfoundation.org/nobo-capital-campaign/.
NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK April 23-29 – Time to make a donation to the Lyons Friends of the Library! They are presenting weekly programs, and speakers, and workshops for all ages, all year round. Only $10 to be a member! Give what you can.