The Town of Erie has seen tremendous growth since construction began on the Erie Community Library in 2006. The estimated population in 2007 was 14,125.¹ The population estimate for 2019 is 27,003.² The projected population for Erie in 2023 is 33,749.³ As a result, the demand for services has greatly increased and will continue to increase with this upward population trend. As an integral part of the Erie community, it is crucial that Erie’s library services keep up with the demand as well as plan for future growth.
The Erie Community Library is adding 6,245 square feet to its current structure and is renovating 7,450 square feet of existing space. Upon completion, the total square feet will be 26,100. In addition, the parking lot will be expanding by 15,575 square feet. The new library design was planned using community input and current library standards and trends. This design will enable the library to provide the needed space for programs, children’s and teen services, materials, public meeting rooms, private study rooms, staff, large events, technology, and parking.
In 2018 the High Plains Library District hired Wember Inc. as the owner’s representative. Together, Wember Inc. and the High Plains Library District interviewed several design-build teams. A design-build team works under one contract that covers both design and construction services. The chosen design-build team includes general contractor Fransen Pittman and architect and design firm Studiotrope Design Collective. Both companies have extensive experience providing their services to libraries.
The High Plains Library District Board of Trustees approved the Erie Community Library expansion plans on July 17, 2019. Fransen Pittman began construction on March 16, 2020 and is planning to complete the renovation in late fall.
- “Town of Erie,Colorado: Economic Development Plan.” Erie, CO | Official Website, Upstate Colorado Economic Development, Nov. 2007 p. 14, erieco.gov/DocumentCenter/View/291/Economic-Development-Plan?bidId=.
- “U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Erie Town, Colorado.”Census Bureau QuickFacts, www.census.gov/quickfacts/erietowncolorado.
- High Plains Library District Facilities Master Plan. High Plains Library District, 2019, p. 6.
Q: Will Covid-19 affect the construction progress?
A: COVID-19 has not affected the construction schedule. Materials have been delivered as planned and workers have been able to continue without delay.
Q: Will the library close for construction?
A: We are not planning on closing; however, some services may be temporarily limited at times. Please also check https://www.mylibrary.us/covid-19/ for details on closures due to COVID-19.
Q: How long will the renovations take?
A: If all goes according to the plan, construction will be completed in late fall or early winter, however, it may take longer if there are unforeseen issues, such as bad weather.
Q: What will the expansion include?
A: Four new study rooms, a large event space that can be divided into two meeting rooms, a conference room, a larger storytime room, a makerspace/craft room, a new teen space, a new patio area, and more parking.
Q: How noisy will it get?
A: The noise level will vary throughout construction depending on what work is being done. Quieter times will be in the evenings and on the weekend.
Q: How much will this cost and where does the money come from?
A: The budget for construction is $4.2 million. We are within budget. The money is part of the library district capital fund, which is used for the acquisition or maintenance of fixed assets such as land, buildings, and large equipment.
Q: Will I still be able to check out items and use the computers?
A: You will still be able to check out library materials throughout construction, pending changes based on COVID-19 restrictions and re-opening.
Q: Is it safe for my family to be in and around the library during construction?
A: Yes. Your safety is a top priority. We ask that you be mindful of what’s happening in the building, and especially outside as you enter and exit the library.
Q: Is there a theme for the expansion?
A: Our approach with this expansion is practical. Erie is growing quickly, and we’re concentrating on creating more meeting and program space for the public.
Q: What's happening to the balloon wall hangings?
A: At this time, we can’t be completely certain where everything will end up. Some things will change, some things will be relocated, and there are some things we may have to give up. The finer details will come into focus as we get closer to the project’s end. Please know that we take these decisions seriously and will do our best to make the best possible choices once we have solid information.