Library seeks motivation for site

Sharing facility with school may be the only option

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— The East Routt Library Board informed the Steamboat Springs School Board Monday night that the search for a new library site still is under way, but it needs more motivation on the end of the school district.

Tom Hopp, library board president, said working closely with the city of Steamboat Springs and the school district is key in moving the process along in a timely manner.

The city owns the current site of the library.

The city proposed that the library remain at its current location with options to expand while helping to acquire the remainder of the site, Hopp said.

"The library could stay at (its current) site but that would tie up significant funds to do so," Hopp said.

The library continues to look at the current site of the school district administrative offices, the George P. Sauer Human Services Center on Seventh Street.

The library board approached the school board in September and the school board agreed to allow the library board to research the site further.

Hopp said purchasing new land to relocate the district offices and other uses of the building would take a substantial commitment.

Purchasing land for a new library or new school district offices would mean going to the voters. Hopp said because of the preliminary stages of the process, the library board is not prepared to do that.

However, Hopp was adamant about the idea of recruiting a school board member to be involved in the discussions about sharing the current district office space with the library.

"We're trying to find a site that works (that) is the hardest part. But we need motivation on both sides," Hopp said of the school board and the city. "That's what it will take; otherwise, I don't know if it's going to happen."

School Board President Paul Fisher said the board hopefully would get the item for discussion on the already-full agenda for the next study session March 4.

"We'll discuss and share ideas," Fisher said. "If the board is in favor, we'll develop some parameters. It's a great idea to have a representative."

Sharing the Seventh Street site between the library and the district offices may be the only way it will work for both parties, Fisher said.

Hopp said other current uses of the Seventh Street facility have been discussed with community members but decisions have not been made as to where these organizations and businesses would relocate.

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