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New library a reality for Castle Pines community


by Lisa Crockett

Years after volunteers in the Castle Pines Community decided to pursue the possibility of a library, residents and local business people have come together to make the dream a reality. In late September, the Castle Pines Library will open in the Village Square Shopping Center and begin operation as the newest branch in the Douglas County Library System.

“We are tentatively planning a grand opening of the library on September 19,” said Peg Hooper, who will serve as the new library’s manager.

Although the Library District’s funding initiative failed on the county-wide ballot last fall, the library had strong support in the Castle Pines community. Community members looked for alternatives to bring a library without adding to the District’s expenses.

Enter local businessman Chuck Lowen, the owner of Lowen Commercial Real Estate, who represents the ownership of Village Square at Castle Pines.

“Creating an economic and financial win-win situation for the library and the ownership in this challenging economic climate presented several hurdles that needed to be overcome,” said Lowen. “With the great support and encouragement from the community and the open communication and vision of the Douglas County Libraries Director, we were able to find common ground, allowing for this opportunity to take place.”

Lowen sees the library as not only a benefit to patrons who will use its services, but also for the businesses who will be its neighbors.

“I believe the synergy created by the presence of the library will greatly improve the traffic visiting our center,” he said. “Which, in turn, will create a more marketable environment for leasing vacant spaces to ancillary services and improve business for the
existing tenants.”

The arrangement is a good deal for the Library District as well.

“Due to significant donations by the property owner, as well as independent fundraising by the community at large, this new library will actually cost us less than we currently spend on our aging bookmobile. We’ll retire the bookmobile when the new library opens,” said Douglas County Libraries Director, Jamie LaRue.

The Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce has headed up the pledge drive for library donations, and to date has collected roughly $33,000. Donations can be made by going to www.castlepineschamber.com.

The Douglas County Libraries Foundation, the charitable and fundraising organization which supports the mission of the Library District, is also hosting a series of fundraising events called The “Book Week End” in order to raise additional funds. The Book Week End will feature the following events:

*August 20: Authors Reception at Cherokee Ranch and Castle from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The Reception will feature authors John Shors and Dave Cullen For more information, please e-mail Sharon Kollmar at Contact by e-mail .

*August 22: Book Sale at the Castle Pines North (CPN) community center from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, please e-mail Vicky Kellen at Contact by e-mail .

*August 23: Children’s Book Swap from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Coyote Ridge Park. For more information, e-mail Lindsay Kamel at Contact by e-mail .

“There was some concern that because the checks for donations are made to the Douglas County Libraries Foundation they may go in a general fund,” said Margie Woodruff, Douglas County Libraries Foundation Development Specialist. “All donations to the Castle Pines Library are designated for the Castle Pines Library. No exceptions.”

The Douglas County Libraries Foundation will acknowledge donations of $1,000 and more with a plaque at the new library.

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