Clifton library branch set for expansion

Clifton library branch patrons will have more room to peruse the stacks pending the completion of an amended lease agreement that will allow the branch to expand into a storefront next door.

Mesa County Public Library District Trustees voted Thursday night to authorize Library Director Joseph Sanchez to sign an amended lease agreement that is in the works for the branch at 590 32 Road. The branch is halfway through its 10-year lease agreement for Suite 6-F at the address. The amended agreement would allow the branch to spill over into the 1,200-square-foot Suite 5-E. The expansion would make the branch 5,400 square feet in total.

As the second-busiest branch in the Mesa County Public Library District, the Clifton location is greatly in need of more space, according to library spokesman Bob Kretschman. The Clifton branch had 107,000 visits in 2013, up 2.7 percent from 2012, and checkout and renewal figures climbed 1.9 percent year-over-year to 175,425 in 2013.

The Central Library branch, the busiest branch in the district, had nearly four times as many visits in 2013, but is more than 10 times the size of the Clifton branch.

“This is certainly the branch that needs the most immediate attention because it’s so busy out there and getting busier,” Kretschman said. “They’re very busy and they are very crowded during the busy times in there.”

The renovation project to expand into the new space will include removing a wall, painting, and installing carpet, tiling, and electric cables, Kretschman said. The project will begin as soon as possible, he said, and the goal is to complete work in time for the summer reading program kickoff June 1.

Kretschman said he’s unsure how the new space will be utilized, except that it will help the branch alleviate crowding. He also said he’s not sure how much the new rent will be but the library district currently pays about $11 per square foot for the Clifton branch.


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