The $11.4-million Green Valley Ranch Branch Library in east Denver celebrated its grand opening on March 12. The library, part of the Denver Public Library system, is the first of the newly constructed DPL branches to be completed or begin construction as part of the Better Denver Bond library improvements.

The new 26,000-sq-ft facility incorporates the latest in library technology, including customer self-checkout stations and an automated handling system utilizing radio frequency identification technology, speeding the checkout of materials and ensuring better tracking and accessibility of library collections.

The new facility boasts 50 public computers, wi-fi accessibility, a library lounge complete with a fireplace and views of the outdoors, areas for children with youth-friendly furniture, a sub-dividable 100-seat community room, small meeting rooms, and an airplane cockpit provided by United Airline’s Training Facility that encourages imagination and shared learning for visitors of all ages.

The surrounding plains landscape and airplanes from nearby Denver International Airport helped to inspire the GVR Library’s architectural design by Denver’s Humphries Poli Architects. Alliance Construction Solutions provided construction services. Project management of the facility was provided by Denver Public Works, working closely with Denver Public Library staff.

“This new library is testament to the fact that the Better Denver Bond Program is a smart investment, improving our communities with facilities like libraries where people and families can learn and gather,” said Denver Mayor Bill Vidal at the grand opening. “We can be proud that this project was done on time, on budget and with great vision.”

As part of the city’s commitment to Greenprint Denver initiatives, the library was designed and constructed with the goal of achieving LEED-Gold certification. Through the use of recycled and regional materials, materials with low emissions, low-flow water fixtures, solar tubes, daylighting and evaporative cooling systems, the library is estimated to use approximately 60% less energy and 40% less water annually than buildings using conventional design approaches.  

Through the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs’ public art program, artist Erik Carlson created the GVR Library public artwork. Called “Cloud Seeding,” it is an interactive, multimedia piece that responds to customer’s catalog search terms with a spectrum of associative images and quotes drawn from Denver Public Library collections.

“I’m excited about this new library and the difference it will make in Green Valley and the surrounding area,” said Denver Councilman Michael Hancock. “Everything about the library, especially the fabulous access to computers, will add so much to the area’s quality of life.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled, to be opening this new library branch in such a wonderful community like Green Valley Ranch,” said Denver City Librarian Shirley Amore. “We have taken special care to ensure that the library is family friendly and provides all the resources needed to support our commitment to early literacy and lifelong learning. Opening this branch is just one more way Denver Public Library connects people with information, ideas and experiences to provide enjoyment, enrich lives and strengthen our community.”