Manitou Arts Center makes space for library during ADA updates

Digital Now

MANITOU SPRINGS – The Manitou Springs Library is packing up and moving out of its 110-year-old building.

“There was a complaint that was made against the Pikes Peak Library District. The building was not ADA accessible. And that’s what really kind of forced the hand of both the Library District and the city to bear down in addressing this issue,” said John Spears, Chief Libraian and CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District

Now plans for expansion and meeting ADA regulations are being finalized.

In the meantime, books, staff and services will relocate to the Manitou Art Center.

“They have a phenomenal makerspace, which we have several makerspaces. We have one at Library 21C, at East, and at Sandcreek, but we don’t have a makerspace in the westside. By moving in with MAC and partnering with them, we’ll be able to finally offer the west side everything that the rest of our district has,” Spears said.

The original Manitou Springs Library isn’t going anywhere.

“We know how important this building is to the residents of Manitou Springs. It’s one of only three Carnegie libraries in El Paso County. And we want to give the residents of Manitou Springs and the City of Manitou Springs an opportunity to really explore the history of this building and what they want to do with it,” Spears said.

PPLD estimates making the building ADA accessible will cost at least $750-thousand dollars.

“You can get to the basement with a wheelchair, but as you can see, it would be hard to even get to the door with the pitch of the ramp in order to get there. And once you’re inside the building, that would only give you access to the children’s area. You wouldn’t have access to the adult collection, the circulation desk, most of our computers. It would be very limited in terms of what you could do,” Spears said.

PPLD plans to be fully moved into the MAC by the end of the year.

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