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ARVADA, CO-Jefferson County and City of Arvada officials will break ground Wednesday on a $9.9 million, 30,000-sf library, a large construction project for this small city. The new library will be built next to Olde Town Square, on West 57th Avenue between Wadsworth Boulevard and Webster Street.

The Jefferson County Public Library, the City of Arvada, Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners and the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority are financing it. Linda Olson, director of the Historic Olde Town Association, says the library opening in Olde Town Square will be a landmark event in the continued redevelopment of the historic downtown neighborhood and commercial district. “We anticipate great things from this cornerstone project in Olde Town’s revitalization,” she says.

William A. Knott, county librarian, says the new facility will mean better library service for all Arvada residents as well. “The changing Arvada population is demanding that we look at library service in a new way, most importantly by providing a larger, more comfortable library facility,” Knott says. “We also foresee the new library becoming a true community center, offering not only more materials and computers, but also more seating and meeting room space.”

Ruth Anna, chairwoman of the Jefferson County Public Library Board of Trustees, says the library only could be built thanks to the “true partnership” of various groups. The city contributed to the construction site and is paying the cost of the parking lot, which will be used by library patrons as well as shoppers and visitors to Olde Town, she says.

She says Jefferson County Public Library will pay the $9.9 million through a 20-year loan, needed to design, construct, furnish and equip the library. The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority is funding a renovation to the Olde Town Square, next to the building site and the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners will contribute $1 million to the operating costs of the new library.

Planning for the new Arvada Library began in 1999 when the city requested Jefferson County Public Library consider creating a new library in Olde Town. The Arvada Library since 1966 has been housed in a small facility at West 57th Avenue and Dover Street, a half-mile west of the new site. A Citizen’s Advisory Committee helped the library in its decision to build in Olde Town.

The new library will have two stories of public-use space and a staff work area in the basement. Other plans include a large community meeting room, drive-up book drop, study rooms, wireless Internet, approximately 120 parking spaces, and a number of computers. The architect for the library is Brendle APV of Denver. The library is scheduled to open in fall 2006.

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