Starting over ten years ago the library board began evaluating the overcrowding space issue and lack of handicapped accessibility to our downstairs Community Room. A committee was appointed to evaluate the library needs and update the library Long Range Plan. Committee members visited newly renovated libraries. They met with trustees and directors discussing positive and negative aspects of their buildings’ designs. Through generous grants from the Dyson Foundation, two feasibility studies were completed. One for community need and interest and another for affordability. Both studies recommended we proceed with the project.
During this part of the planning process we tried to get as much community involvement and input as possible. The two public forums held in April and September of 2009 and a feasibility study done that fall were very helpful in giving us useful ideas and an understanding of what the community wants. Informal input from patrons, friends and neighbors have also been very informative. We have also gone to the various town boards and organizations in town to discuss the project.
Why do you need a new library?
The library’s usage has grown far beyond the capacity of the present building. The present building has served its purpose very well for over 45 years, but it is too small, and non-compliant with ADA regulations and the present building codes. We expect library usage to continue to grow and need to plan for the next 10 to 20 years. We feel additional space with updated facilities is sorely needed.
- From 2010 to 2015 our program sessions have increased by 27% and program attendance has increased by 42 %
- We need a community room that is available to everyone!
Why not add on to the building we have?
Our original intention was to put on an addition. Before jumping into construction we had a feasibility study done at the beginning of 2007. Some of the factors looked at were our usage, population, holdings and estimated growth needs over the next 10 -15 years. The staff and the board were also interviewed before the recommendations were made. The report recommended a building of about 7,000 square feet.
We were presented with a number of options:
1. Adding to our present building
2. Converting an older building
3. Building a new structure
When evaluating these options, we considered many factors, some of which were:
1. Proximity to the Stanford Recreation Park
4. Interior design – supervision, efficient layout
5. Structural requirements – books are very heavy!
6. Maintenance costs
To our surprise, the cost of renovating and adding on to the present building was about the same as a new building (Two and a half million). The present structure is sound, but would require a total “gut” job, during which we would need to rent and move the entire collection. The heating, air, electric, plumbing and septic systems would need to be totally redone. The addition would visually overwhelm the original structure. Trying to add on to the present building on our oddly shaped lot would not allow for the best design and in the end we would have an expensive building that didn’t really meet the needs of our growing library.
Why did we purchase the new property?
There were not many sites for a new library that met our requirements; until we became aware that the Country Lane Nurseries property across from the pharmacy was available. We thought the location was ideal and purchased the property on November 25, 2008.
The property has a number of positive features. It is centrally located in town, is visible and accessible from Route 82, and is located next to the Town Recreation area. A new library there would be very beneficial for the library and for the town.
Who is the architect?
After an extensive interviewing process, we hired the architectural firm of Butler, Rowland and Mays who specialize in building libraries. The library board worked with them through our Building Committee to develop a plan that balances the needs of our growing library with the costs. The new library would have 5,200 square feet on one floor along with a partial basement for the mechanical systems. It will be about twice the size of our present building, have a floor plan that is much more efficient for the functions of a modern library and offer easy access for all.
The rendering below shows the building as it faces Route 82. Parking is on the west side and in the back.
The Capital Campaign Committee is continuing to contact foundations and donors who want to see the library thrive and continue to be an important resource for our community. Thanks to our very supportive community we feel confident enough that we will reach our fund raising goal to begin construction. It has been a long process and we appreciate your support and patience. As of 12/31/18 we have over $1,900,000* available for the new building.
November 2018 – After finally getting all our approvals from several government agencies construction began November 9th! The general contractor for the new building was Consigli Construction from Pleasant Valley. They worked through the winter, rain or shine, hot or cold (Well it was mostly cold to very cold.) and had the building ready to move in at the end of July.
Watch the construction from the very beginning with this photo slideshow.
The Big Move
Before the building was finished Arlene and Christa spent weeks planning a strategy for moving all the books and materials over to the new library as quickly and efficiently as possible. Movers came in on July 29th and with the help of many community volunteers and staff members the majority of the materials were brought over in 2 days! For the rest of that week the staff continued unpacking and setting up so we could be opened to the public on August 3, 2019.
This project could not have been done without our community’s whole hearted support. You all should be proud of what you accomplished by working together.
* This money is kept separate from our operating budget.