The board of trustees has researched and continues to update both initial construction costs as well long term operational costs. Both of those types of costs and what they would yield were reviewed for all the options considered to better meet the library’s mission. The extent of renovations needed at the current building was a factor in the board’s decision to move the library. Interim issues (such as where to locate the library during renovation and impact on surrounding areas) as well as long term issues (such as operational inefficiencies and impact on the Barrow Art Gallery) were also factors.
Initial analysis indicates that the long term costs to operate a new structure (designed for efficiencies such as staff line of sight, energy efficiency, maximum flexibility, etc.) will be lower than those associated with a significantly expanded building at our current site. The current building does need improvements in access, and these can be achieved more economically without competing with the space needs of a library.
Through our analysis, the board of trustees of the library association ultimately determined that using the current building for other community uses and building a new library was the best option to ensure the library’s long term financial viability and relevance in the community it serves.