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AROUND TOWN: Pikes Peak Library District celebrates '21st Century Library'

November 26, 2013 Updated: November 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm
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photo - 112813 Photo courtesy Pikes Peak Library District
Library gala hosts included, from left, Board President Kathleen Owings and  husband Michael; Board Vice-President John Wilson with wife Marnie.
112813 Photo courtesy Pikes Peak Library District Library gala hosts included, from left, Board President Kathleen Owings and husband Michael; Board Vice-President John Wilson with wife Marnie.  

Not every library has a groundbreaking with a formal orange and black party, a Mixology Lab, Cyber Clinic, Skype-O-Vision, Techno Hijinx and a formal dinner - in an empty building. Then again, not every library event has "21st Century" in its name.

Pikes Peak Library District introduced its library of the future to more than 100 members of the community and library supporters on Nov. 1. The newest facility, to be renovated in futuristic state-of-the-art style, is located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, with an opening date set for next summer. It originally housed MCI and Digital Equipment Corp. and was purchased for $3.75 million.

Temporarily called the North Facility, it is part of PPLD's Tri-Building Project and, gala goers were told during a hard-hat tour, will include consolidated administrative offices, a 400- to 500-seat community meeting room and performance center, open space, an outdoor patio and cafe and services for businesses of all sizes. A special,"21st Century" feature is high-tech, interactive creativity centers called "Programming Maker Space Zones" where people can "connect, invent and create."

The Home School Center, Children's Education Center and Computer Lab are slated for expansion at East Library on North Union Boulevard. Penrose Library downtown on Cascade Avenue will also grow, the partiers learned. It will have a new Teen Center, expanded Children's Education Center, Adult Literacy and ESL Education centers along with an updated building entrance.

Supporters heard plans that the PPLD Foundation (ppld.org/foundation) will raise $4.1 million in private funds for the Tri-Building Project, board president Kathleen Owings reported. The three facilities are expected to serve 277,000 people residing in those areas by 2016.

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