MEEKER I The new 2,700 square-foot addition to Meeker Library has been a long time coming, but librarian Mike Bartlett is happy to say that the end of the construction is in sight. He said Friday that the contractor told him that it looks that the project will be completed by late February.
“The minute the contractor is out of here, we will be open for business,” Bartlett said. “It will be an exciting day when this is complete and we are fully operational.”
The $900,000 project, when complete, will add roughly 2,700 square feet to the library, with the new area split into two areas of roughly 1,350 square feet each. One half will be a general study room with four study labs and half will be an outdoor courtyard.
The general study room will have four cubicles which will serve as various labs, Bartlett said. One will be a complete audio/visual lab, equipped to enable the making of movies and will contain a 3D printer, which the library already has, a green screen and it should allow the users to make full videos.
“I would like to make historical videos, like for the (Rio Blanco County) Historical Society,” he said. “There is a lot of historical material around here, and this will help the historical society or other groups record that history so it isn’t lost.”
The other three labs off the study room will be classified as computer labs, Bartlett said, adding that the labs will allow the users to download information onto iPhones or they can work in the library addition.
The main study room floor offers radiant heat and the floor is equipped with power outlets and Internet connections. The room will also allow the programming and construction of computers.
There will also be a large projector and screen in the room, Bartlett said.
The courtyard covers roughly 1,350 square feet and roughly half of that is covered. Between the courtyard and the study room is a wall of windows, which will serve as the entryway between the two areas. The windows completely retract into the wall, however, so the windows/wall can be open and closed to be used as a full wall or as a barrier that completely opens to the outside.
The courtyard will feature a stage, and there will be a large planter behind the stage that will be well landscaped, Bartlett said.
“It is a good-sized stage, and it is my hope that it will be well used,” he said. “It is there for nearly anyone’s use; I would love to see jugglers, musicians and minstrels passing through utilize the stage. It has multiple uses and, hopefully, folks will find some creative activities to utilize it.”
The courtyard will also have benches and tables and allow the users of the library to just go out and enjoy it.
“It should offer a great place to relax, to play games, to study and to talk,” Bartlett said.“Libraries have a tendency at times to make folks self-conscious or make talking and discussions a bit too restrained. We want the folks to feel comfortable and free to talk or hold discussions, and I think that will be a benefit of the finished areas.
The library has roughly 50,000 volumes of books and periodicals on hand now, and the addition will not affect the existing library, he said.
The $900,000 addition is being funded totally within the library district, Bartlett said.
“This addition will be great for those who utilize the library, and we are quite confident that the new uses will bring many more people to the library, which can be closed off from the addition to allow the addition to be used whenever the library is closed,” he said.
“And the best part is, the library district has the funding for the addition, so we will not need to ask for any added tax dollars.”