Sopris Sun

Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper

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Carbondale’s new library: more of everything

The new Carbondale Branch Library has more of everything than before: square footage (13,000 now compared to 3,200 at the old Gordon Cooper Library), books (20,500 compared to 18,020 before), study rooms (four now compared to zero before) and public computers (20 now compared to six before).

Located at 320 Sopris Ave., two blocks south of the old library building, the $5.2 million library was designed by Willis Pember Architects, and is also more energy efficient than the old building, with south facing orientation, high performance low-e glass, 97 percent efficient boilers for heating and more. The Garfield County Library District chose not to spend money on the LEED certification process and instead committed $30,000 to purchasing solar panels for the roof, said library district director Amelia Shelley. “We are hoping to raise at least $50,000 or more to provide a minimum of 20kWh of photovoltaic power on the facility,” she told The Sopris Sun. “We would love to achieve zero net energy for electricity to this building.”

Even without the official LEED process, as of right now the building would qualify for Gold certification, according to Jeff Dickinson, who does contract work for CLEER and worked closely with the library district on the project.

The district received about $155,000 in financial support from the community for amenities and artwork, including a donation from Jim and Connie Calaway for the community room; Colorado Stone Quarries for marble; the Boettcher Foundation, Sam Viersen Family Foundation and BKS Family Foundation for capital support; and The Aspen Thrift Shop for art. The following groups and individuals donated to the approximate $52,000 cost of the Pillars of Light installation at the building’s entrance: Friends of the Gordon Cooper Library (including the piano in the community room), Alpine Bank, Bill Spence and Sue Edelstein, Jaywalker Lodge, RA Nelson Construction, the Mt. Sopris Rotary Club (half a pillar) and Carbondale Rotary Foundation (half a pillar) and in memory of Dr. Gary Kitching. James Surls in loaning the library sculptures on a rotating basis.