Faust: Consider long-term benefits to Breckenridge with Harris Street building
September 16, 2012
Re. “Investing in Harris Street building is honoring community’s past,” by Leigh Girvin, guest column, Sept. 10
Of all the proposals, I have heard for the Harris Street building, I do think some type of library is the best option so far. However, it is imperative when considering such a large taxpayer investment that a project like this considers the long-term benefits to the town.
Will a traditional library with shelves of books and a small computer lab be relevant 20 years from now? Given that I check out most of the books I read from Colorado’s online library and read them on a digital device already, my guess is not.
I also get nervous when I think of how often government restoration projects favor cost and efficiency over aesthetics. While I am sympathetic to keeping government spending down, this project should result in a usable building that people actually want to spend time in.
In addition to the historical merits of the building, this location is home to the only movie theater in Breckenridge, and the only photographic darkroom in Summit County, and for all I know, Colorado.
Why not recoup some of the cost of the restoration by renting out sections of the building that won’t be used for a library to businesses that benefit the community? I really don’t know how much space a library will take up, but I do know that there are a lot of possibilities for the Harris Street building for people willing to think creatively. I would love to see a community space complete with movie theater, darkroom, coffee bar, meeting rooms, an atrium complete with Wi-Fi hotspot, yoga studios and of course a public library.