Monday, July 21, 2008

Library building cost estimates

We just sent out the following press release :
July 21, 2008

For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Terry Dawson, Appleton Public Library Director at 920-832-6170
Dean Gazza, City of Appleton Director of Facilities & Construction at 920 832-5572
Michael Kenney, APL Marketing & Development Coordinator at 920-832-1695

“I am optimistic that a new library could be built for under $30 million,” says Appleton’s Director of Facilities & Construction

The release of a library facilities study final report, commissioned by the Library Board and the City of Appleton, and released July 10th, has caused some misunderstandings related to the cost of constructing such a facility.

“Many in the media keep using $40 million and $300 a square foot,” stated Dean Gazza, City of Appleton Director of Facilities & Construction. “As I noted, I don't think the building would be that high. I am optimistic that it could be done for under $30 million.”

“The estimated cost would be significantly lower than initial projections sited by the news media, based on clarification of square footage expenses,” stated Gerald T. Olson, Director of Architecture & Principal of Durrant Architects, the library’s consultant.

“The dollar figure of $300 per square foot was based solely on a national average that included the more costly East and West coast costs,” said Olson. “When estimating this project, it is advised to stay within the general Midwest to look at comparable costs to Appleton. In my evaluation, I believe the cost of building construction will be in the neighborhood of $180 - $210 per square foot and furniture and equipment will be in the neighborhood of $18 - $25 per square foot,” Olson continued. “Total will therefore be approximately $200 per square foot, or closer to the $30 million estimate Dean Gazza was working with.”

“I’m glad to get greater clarification on these cost projections,” added Library Director Terry Dawson. “The Appleton Public Library is a valuable asset to the people of Appleton, and I hope this more realistic budget number will be seen as more achievable. Re-using shelving and furnishings from the current building would also save costs, as could donations. The next phase in planning, which is preliminary design, will help further refine possible costs,” Dawson concluded.

A copy of the full report is available from the library’s website, at

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