Later this month the Pitkin County Library will begin its multi-million dollar expansion project. In order to save time and money, the plan is to move about one-third of the collection to the old Aspen Art Museum. Aspen Public Radio's Carolyn Sackariason has more.
Head librarian Kathy Chandler is hoping that a new tenant for the museum space will not be ready to move in by April. That’s when she wants to move library operations to the empty building on North Mill Street.
“Possibly we will move everything out and then and let the contractor have at the building...because they will be able to do the work a lot more efficiently if they don’t have to work around the staff and the public and the collection...but a lot of it has to do with timing.”
Chandler is waiting to hear from Aspen City Council on when it plans to select one of five local nonprofits to become a tenant in the old museum space. If the timing works, the library would take it over temporarily. The remaining collection would be moved to storage possibly at the parking garage in Snowmass Village.
“So if things just go absolutely perfectly we would move part of the collection down to the art museum...we would bring a lot of the children’s collection and then the most popular, newest parts of the adult collection down to that building and... we are hoping we can store a lot of the rest of our materials in kind of dead storage.”
The existing library would be open in a limited capacity during construction. The expansion will add 5,108 square feet to the building. Chandler expects the project to be complete by the end of summer in 2016.