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Carbondale’s new library: more of everything

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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.”

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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.

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