(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Penrose Library in downtown Colorado Springs will reopen on Wednesday, March 1 after testing results for methamphetamine contamination showed that public areas of Penrose Library were “not meth-affected.”

Testing took place the week of Feb. 19, and on Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) and its Board of Trustees announced that they had received the results over the weekend.

“Samples taken from the walk-up pathways to the restrooms and in adjacent public spaces did not produce any actionable levels of contamination. The results were at or below the minimum level established by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) as acceptable,” read a press release.

As for the restrooms, which will also reopen to the public, testing did find a few areas above the acceptable limits, which were identified as the exhaust system ductwork, fans, and vents.

State-certified consultant KEMWest made the recommendation that Penrose Library and Mobile Library Services can reopen to staff and the public.

“Since airflow is moving away from occupied areas of the Library, the potential for people in the building to be exposed to meth from this contamination is very low,” said KEMWest President James DeValois, CIH.

The decision to reopen was also made in close coordination with El Paso County Public Health and PPLD.

“…We are pleased to learn that Penrose is safe. Library leadership is executing a plan that will ensure our libraries maintain safe conditions for all, so this will not be an issue in the future,” said Board of Trustees President Aaron Salt.

To mitigate future contamination:

  • PPLD will be contracting vendors to handle the cleaning or replacement of the contaminated equipment in the affected exhaust vents.
  • PPLD will install environmental sensors in all its public restrooms throughout the Library District. These sensors can detect changes in air quality and will alert PPLD’s Safety and Security team of a deviation.
  • Trained team members will be dispatched to manage any issues as they occur. PPLD will begin the process of installing the sensors within the next several weeks.

Penrose Library and PPLD’s Mobile Library Services will resume operation on Wednesday at their regularly scheduled times.