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MAC News

Colorado Springs Business Journal


Manitou Springs Library relocates to the MAC

Manitou Springs Library is relocating to the Manitou Art Center.

Under a new co-location partnership, Pikes Peak Library District and the MAC are transforming the historic building at 515 Manitou Avenue to become a shared space. The grand opening is set for Friday, March 5.

Art, literature, creative studios, meeting spaces, and the resources and services of the public library will all be housed in one place. 

“PPLD will be able to offer more than traditional library resources and services — and in a way that’s accessible — to all in Manitou Springs,” a joint announcement from PPLD and the MAC reads. “The MAC will join them in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.”

“Uniting Manitou Springs Library under one roof with the MAC allows us to best serve residents now and into the foreseeable future,” said John Spears, PPLD’s chief librarian and CEO. “While the City of Manitou Springs and a local task force plan for the future of the historic Carnegie building, we can provide library services to everyone in the local community through a strong co-location partnership.”

Funding and construction proposals are being explored for an expansion and facility improvements at the Carnegie building, and that process could take a few years.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the City and return to the Carnegie building if the Library can be accessible to everyone and in a way that allows for a common experience similar to our other libraries,” Spears said. 

“In the meantime, we look forward to relocating and opening doors, right in the heart of Manitou Springs, to support people’s aspirations, foster creativity and innovation, and boost prosperity.”

The Mountain Jackpot News

Feb 21, 2021

Moving Time Arrives For Manitou Springs Library

The task seems daunting+ pack up everything at the current Manitou Library and move it down the street to Manitou Arts Center.That includes nearly 5,000 items and packing them carefully. It is a task Whitney Springer, manager of Manitou Springs and Ute Pass Library, and her staff have been preparing for since late last year when the city council cancelled Pikes Peak Library District’s lease of the Carnegie Library Building at the end of 2020.

The move will also help staff members see what items need to be refreshed, such as toys and genres, so new resources will become available to patrons once the library reopens, according to Springer.

“Shelves have been condensed so we can better calculate the number of items that will move and the shelf space we have available to allocate for the new materials,” she said.

The grand opening of the library at the new location at Manitou Arts Center is set for Friday, March 5, which can vary depending on Covid-19 restrictions, according to Natalie Johnson, Executive director of Manitou Arts center.

The process has taken awhile, she added. Conversations began as early as March 2020. After that the process involved leases, a memoranda-of-understanding, operation agreements, architects, lawyers, inspectors, regional building, planning department meetings and lots of other things, Johnson said.

Since Manitou Arts Center has been closed because of the pandemic, workers have wired the building for high-speed Internet and removed the cafe area in the foyer, which will house the non-fiction collection, historic Manitou Springs collection and patron holds.

The ramp will be covered with a deck and the hallway space will have shelves for new books, rapid reads, DVDs and books for young adults, teens and older children. Farther down the hall will be a room for children with board books, toys and seating for younger children and families. An office and staff room will be located upstairs.

In the second half of Manitou Arts Center, adult fiction will be housed in the First Amendment Gallery on rolling shelves that can be moved when space is needed for gallery openings and artist events. The library will add computers for use by patrons in the existing design lab at the back of the building. The laser cutter and other art-related equipment will remain at Manitou Arts Center and the library will add 3-D printers to the mix.

Construction crews have been hard at work since the beginning of the year to work on turning the art center into a combination library/art center.

A Temporary Transition

The move is intended to be a temporary solution until the Preserve and Renew Our Carnegie Library Task Force can complete the process of obtaining grants, capital campaign and other funds to complete the project.

The Manitou Springs City Council gave approval on Feb. 8 for the Task Force to move forward with requests for proposals for design and construction cost development and begin the process of selecting an architect and construction company for the project and hire a capital campaign manager to handle the funding for the project. An engineer will also conduct a geotechnical study on the site to ensure the ground will be solid enough to handle the expansion, as there is no record of any such studies having been conducted at the site, according to city officials.

Some funding for the project has been earmarked for use from the voter-approved Manitou Arts Cultural and Heritage Initiative, which uses a portion of a set sales tax to fund projects, which also includes Hiawatha Gardens, Miramont Castle, Manitou Arts Center and Manitou Heritage Center.

Colorado Springs Business Journal

December 11, 2020

Guest Opinion: Uniting Manitou Springs' library and art center to enrich community

As we all endure the many ripple effects from the ongoing global pandemic, the power of collaboration gives me hope for the future. The art and culture community can survive and thrive — but it will require creativity and openness to new opportunities with other likely, and not-so-likely, allies. 

The Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region and local performing artists realized the need to pivot in the wake of COVID-19, so art and cultural experiences could be delivered directly to community members in a safe and engaging way. As a result, we launched Curbside Culture, a new program that facilitates small-scale live performances outside of private residences, businesses, and gathering spots. The program has become a valuable resource during the pandemic, and it will continue to support and benefit our performing arts community into the foreseeable future.

Now, we also can look towards a future with more synergy, right in the heart of Manitou Springs, to support people’s aspirations and boost prosperity. Art, literature, creative studios, and meeting spaces will soon unite under one roof to enrich the local community and broader region. Thanks to a new co-location partnership, Pikes Peak Library District will relocate the Manitou Springs Library inside of the Manitou Art Center during the first quarter of 2021. Like Curbside Culture, this joint venture demonstrates what’s possible when existing partners capitalize on their strong alignment and actively pursue resourceful solutions.  

Building upon a decade of trust and cooperation, PPLD and the MAC are working together right now to transform the historic building at 515 Manitou Ave. to become a shared space that extends more benefits to local artists, Library cardholders, and the greater community. As the partnership evolves, PPLD will be able to offer more than traditional library resources and services — and in a way that’s accessible to all in Manitou Springs. The MAC will join them in welcoming more residents to learn, connect, create, and tinker with their already extensive offering of equipment and creative spaces.

This coming March, the Manitou Springs Library will officially open inside of the MAC with limited indoor services, in addition to curbside pickups and returns. People will be able to browse the collection and check out Library materials, connect one-on-one with library staff, and use WiFi, computer stations, and copying, scanning, and faxing services. As the shared spaces expand in the future, PPLD and the MAC will offer broader access to on-site meeting rooms, computer labs, makerspaces, art studios and workforce development opportunities. 

This is what can happen when we unite to find ways to better serve our community regardless of the circumstances. I applaud PPLD and the MAC for their collaboration, and I hope other organizations are inspired to move beyond traditional community partnerships and consider embracing the shared-space model that capitalizes on existing resources and plays to each other’s strengths. Such alliances can lead to more people and businesses flourishing, which is what we need to strengthen the fabric of our communities for years to come.

Andy Vick

Executive Director

Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region

2020 Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage. (MACH) Presentation

MAC Tier One MACH Presentation

2020 Year in Review (downloadable)

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