July 30th , 2014
An amphitheater and courtyard project is set to be finished by Oct. 15
BY KATY MOELLER
firstname.lastname@example.orgJuly 25, 2014
The popular community library occupies about 12,300 square feet, including offices and storage, on the first floor of City Hall, 6015 N. Glenwood St. A bank of windows in the northwest corner of the library allows patrons to enjoy the scenery along the Greenbelt and Boise River. That proximity to one of the Treasure Valley’s natural attractions was part of the inspiration for an addition: a 7,800-square-foot courtyard featuring landscaping, benches, picnic tables, bike racks, a water fountain for humans and dogs, and a two-tier amphitheater.
“We envision this as a serene, tranquil place to read, have quiet conversations and think,” said Jim Owens, a member of both the Garden City Library board and Garden City Library Foundation.
Organizers plan to start construction on the Legacy Courtyard on Aug. 1 and have it finished by mid-October. The $185,000 project was funded largely through private donations and fundraisers by the library foundation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The city contributed $25,000 to the courtyard development.
“We’ve had to pull out the stops to fund this,” Owens said.
Efforts continue to raise the last $50,000; bricks that will go in the courtyard walkway are selling for $75 each. (So far, 270 have been sold.) One of the library’s successful new fundraisers is An Artistic Taste of Garden City. Each of the past three years, the event has netted about $10,000.
Owens said the 90-seat amphitheater will be just two tiers so that it doesn’t affect the sight lines of patrons in the library. It will be grass-covered, and the concrete walls will be capped with decorative stone. An area will be designated for a stage, but it won’t be raised.
The Garden City Library typically draws 600 to 800 visitors a day, and up to 1,000 on some days.
It has the highest annual per capita circulation (17.4 per capita) and per capita computer use (5.3 per capita) of city libraries in the Treasure Valley. In a city of just over 11,000 people, the library has more than 7,500 cardholders; all but a handful are Garden City residents.
Some renovations done at the library last year include new carpet and a freshening of the Book Nook, the volunteer-run library bookstore. Sometimes, programs and activities – 840 for children and 194 for adults last year – spill over into the City Council chambers next door.
Library Director Lindsey Pettyjohn, 37, who joined the library June 1, said the amphitheater will be a fun and flexible place for her 21-member staff to hold activities for patrons.
“It’s an outdoor extension of the library. We’ve got such a fabulous location,” said Pettijohn, who came to Garden City from the Mountain Home Air Force Base Library.
The amphitheater will also be available for general community use and events.
“I believe it will become a beloved Garden City landmark,” Owens said.