Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mancos Public Library Architect Listens to Residents

Last weekend, architect Dennis Humphries spent a lot of time meeting Mancos residents and hearing a variety of requests for the design of the planned 6,800 square foot library facility south of the Mancos River.

During a visit to a Senior Center lunch on November 17, the architect hear requests for signs showing different sections in the library, a floor plan and directory near the entrance, sitting and rest areas throughout the interior and exterior, accessible bathroom facilities and bicycle racks.
During the November 18 public meeting at the Community Center, residents wrote their requests on colored "post-it" notes and placed them on large sheets with titles like "public meeting rooms," "children's area," and "general exterior."

Attendees had dozens of suggestions and requests, including picture and art displays, a historical collection room, computers and wireless Internet and high quality acoustics.

Other requests included as much natural lighting as possible and "smart" building innovations such as low water suage and grey water usage for landscaping.

Further discussion about the building's exterior revealed other environmental and cultural concerns. Passive solar power was one suggestion. Another was minimal light pollution. "Only 20 percent of North Americans see the Milky Way," one attendee said, voicing a request for controlled lighting of outdoor areas.

Other discussion items were technology for online cattle auctions and teleconferencing, used book storage, a solarium entrance with native plants as a learning tool, storm water management, an outdoor courtyard on the river with summer seating, a balcony overlooking the Mancos River and the use of local materials for the exterior.

Attendees discussed building styles, with requests for a structure that would blend with and echo elements of older Mancos building such as the Bauer Bank Building. Other attendees wanted to incorporate a Mesa Verde architectural theme, reflecting the Native American influence in the region. Participants rejected, "Southewestern Spanish stucco."

Other requests for the building included self-cleaning glass windows, a brick kiva, a place to safely tie dogs up, handicap accessability and in-floor heating. One resident wsaid he wanted to see a sense of "whimsy" incorporated into the design. "Let's push the edge, but still live within the vernacular," Humphries said.

Humphries will take the community input he received during his visit and develop several proposed plans with a return visit scheduled after the first of the year. "I've got my work cut out for me," he said.


From the Mancos Times

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dennis Humphries, Architect, Meets with Mancos Valley Community

Dennis Humphries of Humphries Poli Architects met with Mancos Valley residents to discuss plans for the new library.

Discussion and pizza with Mancos High School students.

A few of the dozens of suggestions for the new library posted during a public meeting on November 18 at the Community Center. The meeting was an opportunity for residents to weigh in on preferences for the planned library. From the Mancos Times

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Notice of Library/Architect Meeting in the Mancos Times

Meet the Architect for the Planned Mancos Library: November 18

Mr. Dennis Humphries, architect of the new Mancos Public Library building strives to design libraries that fit their communities. Input from all groups of our community is vital for the design phase. Meetings with the architect will take place November 17 and 18 in Mancos. A neighborhood landowner's meeting is set for Friday, November 17 at 3:30 p.m. at the library for business and residential neighbors to express their vision for the new library. Also on Friday, Mr. Humphries will meet with four different school groups, have lunch with the Senior Citizens, and meet with the Board of Trustees at a special work session. Saturday meetings include a public meeting from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Mancos Community Center and an afternoon meeting with library staff. If you are unable to attend any of these meetings, please come by the library and let the staff know your ideas or find out more about other meeting opportunities.

From the Mancos Times

Library Welcomes Architect

The Mancos Public Library has 2,200 square feet that houses staff, computer users, children's reading groups, community activities and around 16,000 pieces of material, including books, video and audio tapes. Patsy Smith, the library director, shares an office with staff members that is bursting at the seams.

"We've had to put in additional shelving in front of almost all the windows. There s no place elose to grow. Every year when we plan, we try to figure out how to squeeze out a little more shelving space," Smith said. She added that books with lower circulation have been moved into storage to make way for more popular books. "If we get any fuller, it means more severe weeding of materials. Weeding is something we alays do, but it will have to be more aggressive," Smith said.

It is clear that the time has come for a new library facility. Plans have begun for a 6,800 square foot facility south of downtown and the Mancos River. "According to Colorao Public Library Standards and the size of the population here, this is the appropriate size," Smith said. She added that this will almost triple the current library space. Smith would like to utilize outdoor space by the river for reading and activities. The new facility would ideally have multimedia capacity for presentations and lectures, increased space for books, an expanded young adult collection, and a total increase to about 20,000 items. "More office space with staff work areas and a better flow around the circulation desk," she added.

Smith is preparing to welcome architect Dennis Humphries from Denver. Humphries was the architect for the Dolores library, one of the twenty public library projects he has been involoved in. Smith said that the library board chose Humphries for several reasons, including Humphries' library experience and his idea of looking at the town's architecture and history as part of the planning process.

"He loves to do these meetings and get community input," Smith said, referring to Humphries' visit to Mancos the weekend of November 17. Humphries will be available during a public meeting on Saturday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Community Center.

Smith hopes to break ground for the new library facility during early summer, 2007, saying it will take about a year to complete the building with a grand opening during the summer of 2008.
The other side of the process is funding. "We're in a good place," Smith said. A mill levy increase for the new facility passed in November, 2005. "The funds from the mill levy increase will total about $86,000 this year. We're looking at getting a load as well," Smith said. The total budget for the project is $1.9 million, but Smith is confident that funding will be available.

"We've got a loan and we've just received a letter of approval for an energy and mineral impact grant for $350,000," she said. The grant is administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Smith said she needed the DOLA grant to be able to solicit private foundations for fundraising and was delighted that the grant had been approved.

The library board will also raise funds by selling the current library property. Smith hopes a sale will go through in the next few months. "We're hoping to get $350,000 for this property," Smith said. An additional $200,000 will come from private foundation grants and a local capital campaign drive which will begin in early 2007.

Smith expressed hope that the community will participate in the project planning process by attending the community meeting on November 18 at the Community Center. "We have a vision, but we have to hear from residents," she said. "I do know that he will bring materials for people to look at and get ideas. It's an informal event. I think he will mostly be listening," she said.


From the Mancos Times