After years in the making, the new Lone Cone Library in Norwood is now open to patrons, while a grand opening celebration is set for June 8.
The old library had been next to the Log Cabin Museum on Lucerne Street for years, until library director Carrie Andrew and the board agreed there was a need to construct a new facility.
In 2016, voters approved a property tax that generated $2 million in funds to supplement the $2.5 million the director fundraised.
For the last year, the new library has been under construction. Located on the south side of Norwood, off of Pine Street next to Cottonwood Creek Estates, the building is now receiving its finishing touches: landscaping, signage, the last of the furniture and more.
Andrew said its first day of business on Monday saw 69 patrons. She said people seem enthusiastic about the new facility and are taking advantage of the amenities offered.
In addition to the book sections, the building features a 2,000-square-foot open space room that has a projector. Andrew said the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners will begin to hold their Norwood meetings there, instead of the Glockson Building. She said the library board would, of course, will also be meeting there. The Telluride Foundation said it would host some meetings there, too.
Last week, the little ones from Norwood Elementary School had a “mommy makeover” party with parents in honor of Mother’s Day in that space. On Tuesday, yoga teacher Marie Green did a site walk to see if the big space would work for her yoga classes.
Andrew said the room can be used for most anything, subdivides into two different rooms and has a catering kitchen off to the side. It can be reserved for a fee online.
Another conference room, sponsored by the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library, includes print and online resources for those who need legal support. The meeting room can be reserved for private meetings for an hourly fee.
Andrew said she’s proud the computer area has grown. The old library had six computers available; the new space has 10 for adults and four for teenagers.
The new library also features two private study carrels. On Tuesday, a homeschooling family and another student enrolled in an online school were taking advantage of the spaces. Andrew said she thinks some folks who work from home will use the space because of the internet availability.
A kids’ area features blocks and other manipulatives, reading spaces and kids’ bathrooms. A seating area with a sink is available for kids for crafts and snacks. Andrew said visitors are complimentary.
“Someone said, ‘I can’t believe I am in Norwood,’ someone else said ‘It is jaw-dropping,’” she said. “People appreciate the layout, and the thought that went into it.”
Perhaps one thing patrons are not appreciating, however, is the cost of printing paper on the copy machines in the new library. The prices have gone up from 10 cents to 25 cents. One patron told The Norwood Post, the Daily Planet’s sister publication, on Thursday that the increase seemed unfair to low-income families who don’t have access to a printer. The patron hoped the cost would be lowered.
Andrew said, while the Lone Cone Library’s finishing touches are completed, she reminds all that story time is in place for small children. She also said summer reading for school children would be announced May 20.
She added the library would begin offering 1 gig of internet to the public for free, starting in June.
“That’s 1,000 megabits per second,” she said. “Most people are lucky to get 10 on the current system.”
The new Norwood library employs 10 staff members.