Castle Pines’ library is the smallest in Douglas County, but residents consider it a community jewel.
Since 2008, they’ve contributed more than $150,000 to start and keep their 2,300-square-foot branch. Their effort started after the proposed 2008 property tax increase to fund library construction failed.
Though Castle Pines residents approved the measure, “We didn’t have enough muscle to get the thing passed,” said Warren Lynge, head of the committee that raised the money. “When that failed, there was a small group of us that decided we had an option — either have a failing bookmobile or do something.”
Castle Pines residents, with help from the city, pooled their money to pay the rent and upkeep on the library, which opened in 2009 in a Village Square Drive strip mall.
“We’ve seen there’s a real need,” said the city’s community development director Sam Bishop. “The city’s benefited. The community’s benefited.”
Only about 1,500 square feet of the library’s current space is available for public use, a far cry from the 5,000 square feet the library district says is needed to serve Castle Pines. It hopes to build that larger facility in the next three to five years.
Now, community members are seeking a site for that future building.
“We’re working with the library to find a more permanent location here in the city,” Bishop said. “If we had property to give them, I’m sure that would be part of the discussion. But we don’t currently own any property.”
Instead, they’ll look at available properties, ideally in the business district.
“The final issue is when we do we get our new library,” Lynge said. “So now we’re in the process of determining how much land, where and who’s going to help us provide the land to the library. By the time they get ready to build, we should have the land available.”