The City of Fort Collins, Poudre River Public Library District, and Poudre School District (PSD) have announced a commitment among the three organizations to open a new community innovation center in southeast Fort Collins.
The Southeast Community Innovation Center promised to the voters in 2015, will feature a state-of-the-art public library, multi-use spaces, and recreation and aquatics facilities. The center will be built on the 10 acres of land that PSD owns adjacent to Fossil Ridge High School.
Each partner contributes assets to this project in the spirit of true collaboration. PSD is providing the land needed for the facility. The City of Fort Collins will build the innovation center with an outdoor aquatic facility and the potential for an indoor 10-lane lap pool plus indoor leisure aquatics amenities on the land in the future. Poudre Libraries also contributes to the facility’s construction cost and will open a new full-service library inside, expanding core library services in the southeast area and activating new, multipurpose spaces. Once the new community center opens, the existing Council Tree Library in the southeast Fort Collins Front Range Village shopping center will be closed. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin as early as 2025.
As a next step, staff from the three partners will collectively create an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to guide the collaboration going forward. More information about the IGA will be released as it is finalized, pending approval by the governing bodies of the three partner organizations.
As this project moves forward, it is essential to note that additional voter support would be needed to fully fund the later phases of the project, in particular, the construction of an indoor 10-lane lap pool, indoor leisure aquatics, and ongoing operations and maintenance costs.
The following are quotes from leaders of each of the partner organizations:
“It is exciting to see our three public agencies work together in strong collaboration to address multiple community priorities,” said City of Fort Collins Manager Kelly DiMartino. “I am delighted that through this partnership, the City can advance its promise to the voters related to the southeast community center and outdoor swimming pool, with the added benefit of a co-located library and the option for a possible future expansion in connection with Poudre School District to include indoor pool lanes. It is a true win-win!”
“I am excited for this unique collaboration and what it means for the community’s educational, social, and recreational experiences. Each partner is looking beyond themselves to do what is most impactful for the community,” said Poudre Libraries Executive Director Diane Lapierre. “This is an opportunity to replace Council Tree Library–which is too small to offer all the services of a modern library–with a new, destination library and community gathering space. I look forward to co-creating an innovative community space with residents and partners.”
“What makes our community stronger than any other is a collective willingness to work together and make this the best place to live, work, learn and grow,” said PSD Superintendent Brian Kingsley. “We hope this partnership will result in the expansion of aquatic and enriching, multi-use spaces for our students and community in the years to come.”