There was clapping, cheering and whistling in the audience at the July 23 Castle Pines City Council meeting after a unanimous council vote to ratify a contract and spend $10,000 earnest money on a half-acre-plus undeveloped lot — a place to build the city's first library.
“We're well on the way to having a permanent library facility in Castle Pines,” Mayor Jeffrey Huff said.
The lot, owned by Village Square LLC, will cost $392,000 — paid for out of the city's $3 million in reserves — and is located just west of the building that houses several businesses including the current library, in a storefront at 7437 Village Square Drive.
Sam Bishop, the city's community development director, said the plan is to close on Aug. 30, barring unforeseen complications.
Later, Castle Pines Councilmember James Einolf said that in the past, the Douglas County Library District owned a building lot, but didn't like the location near the Castle Pines Metro District office. The metro district wanted the land and bought it from the library district, which then used the money to buy books for the area. So the money stayed here, he said.
Now, according to talks with the library district, it's expected the district would construct a large library that would have two stories, and the city will rent the second story for its offices for $1 per year until the city has recouped the money paid for the library lot.
The city is paying $48,749 for its 2013 lease on the city offices' current location at 7501 Village Square Drive. And the price “goes up each year by a percent or two,” Einolf said.
Huff said the library district has budgeted for the new library, but he didn't know when construction could begin.
According to a library press release, building details and timelines have yet to be finalized, but both the library district and Castle Pines are starting to work “on this exciting project.”
The library district recently launched a multi-year campaign to fund and build three new libraries, for Parker, Lone Tree and Castle Pines, according to a news release. The library district is the main financial sponsor of the effort, and will supplement revenues in reserve with an active fundraising campaign targeting municipal partners, private donors and corporate donors.
“Through this vibrant community partnership, both the City of Castle Pines and the library will benefit,” said Douglas County Library Director Jamie LaRue in a press release. “It marks the beginning of a new era for discovery and learning for our community.”