Completion Date
June 2024
Current Phase

Project Overview

The new north Boulder Library has been identified as a need for our community for nearly 30 years and is a primary goal of the 2018 Library Master Plan. Designed by WORKac, the Library will be a showcase, landmark and monument to the possibilities of sustainable and green architecture, and the transformative power of public libraries in Boulder and well beyond.

Preliminary planning for the new north Boulder branch library began in 2018. Outreach to the community began in August 2018 and continued into the design phase in 2019. Construction began in April 2023. Find more information on the new North Boulder Library Branch

The Site

In November 2018, the site at the east side of Broadway at Rosewood and stretching between Broadway and 14th Street (4500 13th Street) was selected for the new north Boulder branch library. This site is owned by the City of Boulder and offers many benefits. It is a secluded and protected quiet site, surrounded by nature and with expansive views towards the mountains. It will provide generous outdoor spaces and accommodate the full program without requiring any flood mitigation. It is easily accessible and will accommodate both day-to-day traffic and parking as well as parking for special events. It will provide a fully functioning library for years into the future and can be expanded if desired.

Access and parking

One of the key aspects of the on-site analysis was anticipated traffic flow to and through the site and the number of parking spaces required. The intent is to have a neutral impact on adjacent neighborhood parking availability by encouraging multi-modal transportation to the library and by providing adequate on-site parking. The city hired Fox Tuttle Hernandez Transportation Group (FTH) to conduct traffic studies and provide recommendations about the anticipated number of car visits and the number of parking spaces required. Based on the empirical data collected by their study of the Meadow’s and George Reynolds Branch Libraries, FTH recommends 54 vehicles as the peak number accessing either site hourly and a total of 30 parking spaces needed. This estimate aligns with the City of Boulder parking code requirement for a 12,000 sq. ft. building, as outlined in 801.2.1 Off-Street Parking Schedule of the 2015 International Zoning Code.

Accommodation of pedestrian, bike, and public transportation visits were considered separately.

Outdoor Lighting

Compliant with the Outdoor Lighting Ordinance which:

  • Establishes the maximum allowable lighting levels which are based on zoning district and use.
  • Requires lighting to be reasonably uniform to minimize light/dark contrast.
  • Requires all light in excess of 2400 lumens (roughly equivalent to a 150 watt incandescent light bulb) to be “white light," which includes metal halide, fluorescent, and induction light bulbs, because of superior color rendering properties.
  • Requires the use of full cut-off light fixtures and shielding to reduce glare, light pollution and light trespass.

Project Funding

Construction Costs

The total design and construction cost is $16.1 million. The Community Culture and Safety tax revenues funded $5 million of the project costs. The remainder is coming from other capital funds, library-specific funds, donations and grant money.

Annual Operating Costs

Annual operating costs are estimated at $1 million and will be funded by the operating budget of the Boulder Library District, approved by voters in 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

May 2024

The City will hand the building off to the Library District once it is completed. The new north Boulder branch library is expected to open by the middle of 2024.

Right now, materials are arriving at the site to prepare for the final stages of construction. Since we are moving into winter, it is crucial to store the materials in a temperature-controlled environment, so they do not freeze. To do this, we are using a generator. Community members may notice the generator is active 24/7 to keep the building materials safe and provide heat to the building until the windows are installed and the permanent HVAC system is installed and operational.

Cameras have been installed at the site to protect the area. Over the past few weeks, we have experienced security issues at the site, including trespassing and the generator being turned off. It is also important to note this active construction site contains hazards and only authorized personnel should access this area while construction is underway.

The temporary security cameras have limited storage time. The retention period is long enough for staff to review if something were to occur within a few days' time. A permanent camera system will be installed prior to building completion, but the storage time has not been finalized yet.

These cameras will be pointed only at Library property, to cover the entrances and parking lot.

Xcel is installing a dedicated transformer to power the new Library, therefore there will not be any connection to any of the existing buildings. The new transformer will be located to the southwest of the new building.

The project is operating within compliance of the City’s hours of work and noise levels, which states that unreasonable created by the use of power tools may not occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. The work schedule will vary each day depending on the nature of work occurring and/or weather conditions.

Saturday work is allowed and may occur occasionally.

The decibel level is 65-70dB which is similar to a conversation of two people standing 3’- 0” apart.