By Mary Lou Egan
The search is on for the location of a new public library in Globeville, a neighborhood that has been asking for one for at least the last few years.
About 30 residents attended a meeting recently held at the Globeville Recreation Center to discuss the proposed library. The nearest one to the neighborhood’s borders is the Valdez-Perry Branch at 4690 Vine St. Facilitated by Annie Kemmerling, director of Neighborhood Services for the Denver Public Library, this was the second such community gathering.
Kemmerling began by introducing Nola Miguel, director of the GES Coalition and Tierra Colectiva Community Land Trust, library staff, city agency staff, and members of the Globeville Redevelopment Partners LLC. There was a recap of the previous meeting, as well as an update on the project. The budget for the library is $12 million and comes from voter-approved 2021 Rise Denver Bond.
The funds need to cover land acquisition, building costs, renovations, collections and equipment. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 square feet is needed for the branch. The library staff relayed the community’s desires for a location close to schools and housing, and accessible by transit and walking.
The committee reviewed suggested sites that it deemed are not viable, such as Argo Park, which was viewed as a desirable location, but because of the red tape that comes with park projects, it was not determined feasible. Three empty lots that were mentioned were ruled out because they come at a high price and need development from the ground up, leaving little money for the library.
Two locations, one at the Salvation Army site at 4751 Broadway and one at 4995 Washington St., are still on the table. David Block, director of development of Chicago-based Evergreen Real Estate Group, shared a vision of combining low-income housing, a food market, and the library at 4995 Washington St.
Carla Padilla, a longtime Globeville resident and the associate director of the arts nonprofit Birdseed Collective, raised concerns about security and the homeless population that surround libraries. She said she also hopes the facility will reflect the diversity and personality of Globeville.
Anna Elizabeth, a neighborhood resident, said the idea for the library is that it could be the home to historic documents, photos and artifacts from Globeville, while others wished for a toy library and workshops.
Residents can share their wishes or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.