Read all about it! Library books not due till July

After Friday, staff and other workers will begin moving into the newly remodeled Mesa County Central Library, 530 Grand Ave. An all-day grand reopening is scheduled June 20. In the meantime, library users can check out up to 40 items that won’t be due until July from the temporary location at 655 N. First St. “Get in there before May 31 and check out enough books to get you through the next three weeks,” said library district spokesman Bob Kretschman. Finishing touches now are being made to the remodeled building, which will feature spacious curved windows to let natural light into a new fiction room, an enlarged section for teens, a patio, a production room to create audio and video works, a regional history room and a large community room.


New library by the numbers:

Remodel cost: $7.1 million

Total new library space: 45,000 square feet

Number of books to move: 160,000

Additional space added to new library: 9,000 square feet

Number of daily visitors to the central branch: 1,500

Year the library moved into 530 Grand Ave.: 1974

New teen area: 60 percent larger

Attention all bookworms. Don’t dally getting down to Mesa County’s Central Library branch.

As of 6 p.m. Friday, the library at its temporary location, 655 N. First St., will close to the public for a few weeks as staff and workers move into its newly remodeled digs, 530 Grand Ave. A grand reopening is planned all day June 20.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy reading books in June. Library officials encourage users to come into the Central branch until Friday and stock up on the checkout limit of 40 items. 
  Or, after Friday, stop by and visit the district’s other Grand Valley branches.

“We’re urging people to take advantage of that before the Central branch closes,” said Mesa County Library District spokesman Bob Kretschman. “Get in there before May 31 and check out enough books to get you through the next three weeks.”

The Central branch closed in August for about 10 days as staff and crews moved books from the Grand Avenue location to the First Street site. Moving back will take a bit more time to move the shelving, reposition it and place books back in order.

“We have experience from doing it last summer. It was a good trial run,” Kretschman said. “We’re confident we can do it again.”

Patrons can still return books at the First Street location in the drop-off box. However, books checked out through Friday won’t be due until July.

The completely remodeled building looks and feels completely different than before as spacious curved windows in the new fiction room let in loads of natural light, Kretschman said.

The library has more small-group meeting rooms, an enlarged section for teenagers, a patio and a production room to create audio and video works.

It will also include a regional history room and a large community room.

The library won’t get an abundance of new books, but it is stocking a number of new ones to celebrate the reopening.

Workers for general contractor Shaw Construction are putting the finishing touches on the building. Denver-based Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture worked as project architects.

“It is going to look and feel like a brand-new building,” Kretschman said. “The public is going to love that new building. It has been used since 1974 when it opened in an old Safeway store. This is the first time it hasn’t felt like a converted something else. It’s going to feel like it was designed and converted to a community library.”

Library officials want curious folks to wait until June 20 and not attempt to get a sneak peak by wandering inside. Staff and crews will be bustling in and out, but officials request that people wait for opening day.


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