Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Building study 2009

APL RFP ASAP: the next phase of our facility study -- program design -- is underway. This week, we sent out a Request for Proposals for design services. A selection committee will review proposals we get and we hope to start the work in February with a report before summer.

What is program design? If we were doing a more aggressive timetable, it would happen as the first phase of building design and lead to construction drawings. In our case, we are moving more cautiously. We need to get better cost estimates and make a decision about, remodeling vs. new construction.

Last year's study gave us an estimate for overall space needs and recommended new construction as best for future library services -- while acknowledging that remodeling would have some advantages. We know that we cannot add more floors to our current building. But in any case, we're looking at a single library building, as branches would not be cost-effective, and that building should be downtown. This study, which will look at building footprint, is a precursor to any serious site discussion

Working with an architect who understands libraries, we'll do some detailed analysis of spaces and spatial relationships. If you were going to build a house, you'd need to decide how many bathrooms, whether the garage would be attached, where the kitchen would sit relative to dining, family and other functions.

The end result should be conceptual plans and drawings for alternative designs, with some better cost estimates. The community will then have better information for the next decisions, and we'll use the information to do some fund-raising. We expect that significant private dollars will be needed in any case.

Comments and questions are welcome!