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Eagle library eager to expand

Kathy Heicher
Eagle Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” The Eagle Valley Library District wants to expand the Eagle Library ” if the finances work.

Drawings for a new wing on the south end of the building are finalized, and the district is collecting cost estimates from subcontractors. The proposed addition is 9,000 square feet.

“There’s nothing definite yet,” Library Director Charlynn Canada says. “It all depends on the money. It will be close.”

The district is appealing to the town of Eagle, the Greater Eagle Fire District and the Western Eagle Ambulance District for waivers of some impact fees, which are routinely charged for new development.

Two years ago, the estimated cost of the expansion was $2 million. Canada notes that prices, labor and materials have “gone through the roof” since then.

“The affordability that we thought we could realize two years ago, is now a bit in question,” she says.

Two years ago, the library want to expand its buildings in Eagle, Gypsum and Avon, and asked voters for a tax increase. The concern was that the library service demands from a growing population was increasing faster than library revenues. The voters said ‘no.’

Subsequently, Canada says, the district went back to its initial plan to do what improvements were possible with money set aside in the budget every year.

The Gypsum and Avon libraries also need to expand, Canada says.

“We have to do these projects one at a time,” she says.

The Eagle Library expansion would accommodate a new 5,000-square-foot children’s center.

Diva Katieb of Eagle regularly takes her toddler twins to a story hour. She says the 10 to 15 children who show up, plus the moms, fill up the limited space.

“It’s a great program, very popular. With the baby boom going on in Eagle, a library expansion is not at all a bad idea,” she says.

The additional square footage will also allow for an expanded adult fiction area, which will be moved to the second floor. A teen area will be created downstairs. The current children’s room would become the Eagle County History Center.

The library, which will continue to share parking spaces with the county, will add 11 additional parking spaces.

Specifically, the library district is seeking a waiver of $9,144 in street improvement fees from the town; a $9,639 impact fee waiver from the fire district; and a $1,017 impact fee waiver from the ambulance district. Town laws prevent the town board from simply waiving the fees ” the revenue has to come from somewhere. Town leaders are mulling over that situation.

Canada says the impact fees for the library amount to one taxing entity paying another.

One thing that will happen for sure is the demolition of the brick home (the former Yost residence) that now sits on the lot south of the library.

If the library expansion is a go, the wing could be built by this time next year, Canada said.


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