Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Community Library ready to take shape

March 28, 2007

The building site may just look like a few piles of dirt, but plans for a new Basehor Community Library are rolling and on schedule.

A groundbreaking for the future 13,600-square-foot building at 158th Street and Garden Parkway was last October, and major earthmoving began soon afterwards.

"We lost a few days of construction during January because of the cold weather, but we're not far off track," said Carla Kaiser, library director. "We're still looking at the very first part of 2008 to actually get our doors open."

Kaiser said so far the footings for the building have been poured and library officials hope to see some basement walls soon.

While the 4,400-square-foot basement was originally designed as an unfinished area for future use, Kaiser said they are looking to stretch their funds a little bit further to make it a useable space in addition to the main floor.

"We're running some numbers to see if we can finish at least part of it out to be used for programs," Kaiser said.

There are several simultaneous steps in the planning process, Kaiser said, but an emphasis is currently being put on the interior. Interior finishes such as carpeting, tile and paint have already been decided, but other touches such as furniture and checkout equipment have not. The library board of directors as well as staff members will be working with a consultant to make those decisions in the near future.

Made possible by several years of planning and a $2.99 million bond issue passed in February 2006, the new library will boast a fireplace, a drive up book drop, the latest technology and perhaps most importantly, a larger selection of books and resources.

Kaiser said the library has a budget for an expanded opening day collection.

"We'll be trying to fill in any holes or beef up areas that we know there's a strong interest in," she said. "People will see an improved collection when we open our doors."

The slab for the building is scheduled to be poured in May, Kaiser said. Once the slab is complete, the community will start to see the beginning stages of the building walls.

"That for me is a big step," she said. "That's one of the things I'm waiting to see -- not just the hills of dirt, but the building itself."

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