Eagle Public Library expansion makes it one of the Vail Valley’s gems | VailDaily.com

Eagle Public Library expansion makes it one of the Vail Valley’s gems

$4.5 million project completed without borrowing a cent

Eagle town board member surrounded himself with children during Saturday's grand opening of the Eagle public library expansion and remodel. The 12,600 square foot expansion was finished without borrowing any money.
Randy Wyrick | randy@vaildaily.com

EAGLE — An Eagle library expansion was a dream for a decade and a half. On Saturday, the library board cut the ribbon and opened the door on that dream.

Not only does Eagle Valley Library Board president Ruth Powers know what’s within the Eagle library’s walls, but she knows what’s inside the library’s walls.

Inside the library’s walls is stuff like ducts, electrical conduits and that. Within the library’s walls are shelves lined with literature ranging from Homer’s “Iliad” to “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

And they did the $4.5 million, 12,600-square-foot expansion/remodel project without borrowing a cent, Powers said, with a nod to previous boards that made it possible.

“This exceeds anything we thought we could do,” Powers said.

Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry was raised in Eagle. As a kid she could stay in the library as long as she wanted, sitting in a window reading books, which is where the wisdom of the ages is stored.

“It’s a community thread that helps hold us all together,” Chandler-Henry said.

Town board member Kevin Brubeck sat on the front steps Saturday morning and asked the children in the crowd to join him, saying that the library and the future are theirs.

“This is yours. Love it, respect it and take care of it,” Brubeck said.

In a circle-of-life epiphany, patrons noticed the children’s section is not far from the history section.

Expansion adventures

Any remodel and expansion project is an adventure. The Eagle library staff dealt with a construction-related flood in the archive room. They schlepped all the books four times to accommodate construction progress.

Across the street, the Eagle County building was home to a pop-up library. Storytime was mobile, hosted by local businesses.

Saturday morning, little kids wandering around by themselves, smiling and playing.

Local artist Mason Torry will create a mural featuring great books chosen by library patrons.

The library contains books that explain how the recession happened a decade ago and slammed the brakes on this and so much else. However, the library board kept working and saving until they had that money and more. In fact, they still have some money in their savings account, Powers said. About four years ago the stars aligned and the project started.