What is the most economical way to obtain the additional space the library clearly needs – renovation or new construction?

The board of trustees is continuing to research initial construction costs, as well as interim and long term operational costs. All costs – both for renovation and a new building – are being used in our decision-making process and are still under review.

No renovation scenario developed to date meets all identified needs, yet it will likely be less expensive to build. There are interim costs and concerns such as where and to what capacity we can locate library operations during renovation. We’re also taking into consideration the impact of an 18-month major construction project on our neighbors in the downtown business district and traffic on State and Genesee Streets.

Conversely, it’s anticipated that the costs to build a new structure would be higher initially, but operating a building designed for efficiencies in staffing, energy use and maximum flexibility will be lower than those associated with a renovation and addition at our current site.

Costs developed at this stage using conceptual plans are projected estimates only; they are not final and can be expected to change as the scope and direction of the project evolves. These estimated costs are a tool for the board to use in our deliberation and must be weighed against how well the community’s current and future needs can be met in each scenario.