Castle Pines' future library will be a two-story building between 9,000 and 12,500 square feet, and the city will get to use about 2,000 square feet for offices and pay $12 a year for the space — and it's expected the building will be ready for occupancy by Dec. 31, 2016, according to an agreement between the city and Douglas County Libraries.
Castle Pines City Council voted Sept. 24 to OK that agreement. After that, council gave initial approval on first reading, to conveying land — a half-acre the city just bought — to the library district for free, which will then have the responsibility to design and construct the building.
The library board planned to vote on the agreement the next evening, Sept. 25, but had to delay.
“There are a couple of exhibits that were missing, and our attorneys are still reviewing,” wrote Jamie LaRue, director of Douglas County Libraries, in a recent email. “So we've pushed it to the October meeting.”
The city bought the half-acre for $392,000 on Aug. 30. The empty lot, bought from Village Square LLC, is located downtown just west of the building that now houses several businesses, including the current library, which is located in a storefront of about 1,600 square feet at 7437 Village Square Drive.
Castle Pines Councilmember James Einolf explained in a past interview the Douglas County Library District owned a building lot at one time, but didn't like the location — which was near the Castle Pines Metro District office at 4707 Yorkshire Drive. 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 in the city, Einolf said.
Now, with the land bought by the city — and soon to be donated to the library, if the council gives final approval at a future second hearing — the library will take over from there. The city expects to recoup the money paid for the land when it no longer has to pay rent at its current office location at 7501 Village Square Drive and can move into the new library building for $12 a year for 10 years.
Sam Bishop, Castle Pines' community development director, said at the Sept. 24 council meeting that in the agreement, the city will hold a special warranty deed in escrow until a building permit is issued for the structure. The agreement also requires the library to be in operation for a minimum of 10 years
Bishop said the city is “in desperate need of meeting space” and the agreement gives the city meeting space in the building for planning commission and council meetings and for municipal court needs.