PUEBLO — If you've borrowed any books or videos recently from the Barkman Library in Pueblo, be sure to return them soon. The Pueblo City County Library District will close the branch library on Tuesday, August 1, to begin a $4.2 million renovation project.
The Barkman location is the next library in line to receive major renovations under the Pueblo City-County Library District’s master facilities plan.
The construction will expand the building entrance, enlarge the community room, and improve accessibility.
"The renovation piece will re-imagine the inside of the library in a way that were able to create some concerted or designated spaces so we have a designated children's area, a designated maker, space designated quiet, reading areas," said Nick Poter, Pueblo Library Foundation and Strategic Initiatives Executive Director.
The City of Pueblo will also build a new pedestrian bridge over a drainage ditch on the west side of the building to connect the library to Belmont Park.
Potter explained that some of the proposed safety improvements for the project are already in place at Barkman and other libraries in the district.
For example, surveillance cameras now monitor foot traffic coming and going from the restrooms, while vapor sensors inside the facilities can alert security if someone is smoking or using drugs.
Air vents in the restrooms at Barkman tested positive for methamphetamine residue in February. The library district temporarily closed the building for cleaning and remediation.
"Since we've done that, it's added a huge deterrent from those bad actors in our facilities, decreased the amount of above anybody coming in here, kind of being a bad actor in our facility," said Potter
The new design also calls for lower bookshelves so that library staff can more easily spot trouble.
Construction is expected to last until June of 2024. The Lucero Library on East 7th Street will be the next to undergo renovations as part of the facilities master plan.
The $4.2 million project is being led by HBM Architects and Interior Designers of Cleveland, OH. One of the same companies that handled the renovations at Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library.
Construction is being managed by a local company, H.W. Houston Construction.
While the renovations are underway, the public is encouraged to visit Pueblo City-County Library District's other locations, such as:
- Tom L. and Anna Marie Giodone Branch Library
- Greenhorn Valley Branch Library
- Lamb Branch Library
- Library at the Y
- Patrick A. Lucero Branch Library
- Pueblo West Branch Library
Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library
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