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'Stroke of Genius': Manitou Springs Library project gets funding

Posted at 6:56 PM, Dec 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 07:04:55-05

MANITOU SPRINGS — A major fundraising boost makes way for renovation work to start on the historic Manitou Springs library.

It closed back in 2020 because the old building did not meet ADA requirements.

A renovation fundraising effort by the city started.

“The library has been a centerpiece for the community. Well, since 1910, when the building was built,” said Manitou Springs Mayor, John Graham.

Many quickly stepped up with donations.

Graham said, “It's a passionate project with a great many people, in fact that the groundswell was it was really, pretty heart heartwarming when it began.”

Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) leaders endorsed the effort.

“We do not own the building but we value partnerships, we value our Manitou Springs community and we wanted to make sure that they were able to open that library,” said PPLD Chief Librarian and CEO, Teona Shainidze-Krebs

After the early surge, the fundraising faced issues like rising construction costs caused by inflation.

The close to $4.5 million goal stalled at just over 1.5 million dollars of the goal.

Library leaders came up with an idea to close the budget gap.

“That was a lot of brainstorming, there was a lot of different ideas,” said Shainidze-Krebs.

Library District leaders suggested paying $1.5 million of their lease years in advance.

“They'll have a basically prepaid rent, we'll have one and a half million dollars to add to our war chest,” said Graham.

The money comes from dollars set aside in the PPLD capital fund.

“We had an accumulation of interest that enabled us to make that payment,” said Shainidze-Krebs

Graham said, “Getting cash upfront and having prepaid rent that was really kind of a stroke of genius, and that came from the from the library folks. So, I give him tremendous credit for thinking out of the box."

The move allows the renovation work to start.

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