Thursday, April 13, 2023

FAQ: Vineyard Haven Library Renovation and Addition Project

The Tisbury Annual & Special Town Meetings will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday April 25th, at the MV High School Performing Arts Center. Visit the Town of Tisbury's website to view the warrants.

This year, ARTICLE 9 (Capital appropriations and other new equipment), includes a request for $800,000 for library renovations. For more information, please review these Frequently Asked Questions.

FAQ: Vineyard Haven Public Library Renovation and Addition Project

With the COVID-19 pandemic having led to delays in both critical building repairs and a long planned meeting room addition, Town and Library Administration agree that necessary repairs to the existing library building and the meeting room construction would be best combined into a single renovation and addition project, to limit interruptions to library services for the public, as well as achieve significant cost savings.

Funds from Warrant article 9(a) will be combined with existing funding for building repairs, and used to contract an owner’s project manager (OPM) to provide project management services, develop plans and cost estimates, and oversee construction for a combined renovation and addition project. The renovation and addition will include environmental upgrades for sustainability, much needed storage, and flexible meeting facilities that will position the library to deliver optimal services to our community for years to come.

What work needs to be done on the existing building?

Almost 25 years since the last renovation and addition, the library building has damage and wear, failing systems, and accessibility issues. The renovation will address these issues and make the building more weather-tight and energy efficient. Issues to be addressed include the following:

  • Roof is in need of replacement, repair and insulation, and to be prepared for rooftop solar
  • Heating & cooling systems need to be redesigned, repaired and replaced (including additional ventilation)
  • Bathrooms have accessibility & plumbing issues, causing odors and other problems
  • Windows throughout the building are damaged or inoperable, and not weather-tight
  • Interior painting and carpeting have not been redone since the 1999 renovation
  • Interior ceilings tiles and light fixtures throughout the building are missing or damaged
  • Landscaping and entryways have damage, accessibility issues, and plantings that have outgrown the space

What is the status of the capital campaign for the library addition?

The VHPL Building Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit, has undertaken a Capital Campaign to fund the addition to the building, which will create a 1,200 square foot multipurpose meeting room, significant additional basement space, and make improvements to the reading room and garden area. The campaign has gifts or pledges nearing $1.5 million, and the volunteers will continue fundraising through the beginning of construction.

Why can’t the project be funded by grants?

VHPL will not be eligible for funding through the state Library Construction Grant Program until 2029, and there is no guarantee that the grant program will have funding at that time (projects remain on the waiting list since the 2017 grant round).

The library building fund has received a number of generous grants from private foundations for the meeting room addition, but grant funding is limited as many local foundations do not support capital projects by organizations like the library that can be sustained by tax-payer dollars.

Didn’t the library already have funds appropriated for interior renovations?

Approximately $350,000 remains unexpended from approximately $400,000 approved at Annual Town Meetings for FY2021 – FY2023. These appropriations were for specific purposes not including Owner’s Project Management, and are insufficient for the scope of work needed. (Articles for $120,000 for replacement of floor coverings and interior painting approved at Town Meetings prior to FY2018 were never expended and have expired.)

Why is the Meeting Room addition important?

Since 2007, the Vineyard Haven Public library has experienced more than 300% growth in attendance at adult programs. The library hosts at least 40 events each month for all ages, and attendance has continued to be robust, with more than 6,000 attendees at online and in-person events in FY2022.

In order to safely gather our community for future in-person events we will need a larger space with proper ventilation. The planned community room will have up-to-date technology, ample storage, and appropriate lighting and acoustics. Features will include large windows and doors looking out to the garden, a state-of-the art sound system including an assisted hearing loop, and a large projection screen with high resolution projection system. The project will also include technology and features to allow for quality live streaming of programs for those who can't attend in person.

The room will also be available as a meeting space for area nonprofits, government organizations, and social service providers, and will be used as a collaborative work space for library visitors. Having a large and flexible multipurpose space will allow the library to respond to other community needs, such as serving as cooling center.

How will the courtyard garden area be impacted?

The addition will encompass a portion of the existing patio garden but is sited to leave a large garden area (approximately 2,000 square feet) remaining. Landscaping will increase accessibility and improve interaction between the meeting room, reading room, and garden space. The project will include a new interpretation of the Shakespeare Garden dedicated to Margaret Webster, that was lost in the 1999 renovation.

Will there be enough parking to accommodate the attendance at library events?

Our review of the recent programs indicate that the new room will not significantly change the number of attendees, but will allow for more flexibility, fewer disruptions to other uses of the Library, and more appropriate accommodations. Many citizens currently walk to the Library and others who do drive find sufficient parking nearby (more than 80 street parking spaces are available within walking distance).

Is the project being designed in such a way that it is environmentally friendly and sustainable?

Our architects are creating a plan to improve the sustainability of the entire library with many new windows, a state-of-the art HVAC system, passive lighting, and the addition of solar panels.

Will the Library be open during renovation?

The library building will need to be closed for a period during renovation, but the library will plan to provide services from a temporary location. The repairs and addition can be done at the same time to avoid multiple closures.


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