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A Great Town Deserves A Great Library!

The Jeudevine Project: Proud Past ♦ Bright Futurefacebook 256

Questions & Answers

Click on a question to see the answer.

Needs

Do we really still need libraries?

Libraries today are more important than ever. Numerous studies show that public libraries have experienced a dramatic increase in usage. Libraries offer all people equal and easy access to the tools they need to stay informed, entertained, educated and connected, particularly in difficult economic times. Public libraries are destinations for lifelong learning and places for communities to gather. They are not just buildings with books.

Doesn't everyone just use the Internet?

Far from it! Many people prefer to read printed books. Others like to read magazines without having to pay for subscriptions. Some cannot afford home Internet service or don't have a computer. The JML offers computers, high-speed Internet and other technology free to anyone who comes in the door. JML staff help people learn how to use technology and how to research on the Internet.

Benefits

How will an expanded library benefit Hardwick?

An investment in our library makes a strong statement that we value our community and are building a legacy for our children. A vibrant and welcoming library is a crucial anchor for our historic downtown. Active libraries help increase property values, draw visitors and encourage families to relocate to a community, all helping economic development. An expanded Jeudevine Library will include a beautiful public “gateway” of landscaped community space at the municipal hub of our town—an appealing venue for outdoor public performances and events. All these factors make an expanded library an economic engine for Hardwick that will support the growth and health of our community. The truth of this is recognized by the USDA Council for Rural Development, which has long supported this project for its role in economic growth.

What will an expanded library include that we don’t have now?

A lot of things! ✥Flexible spaces to maximize programming opportunities and provide access to every patron. ✥Increased room to build our collections over time. ✥Easy accessibility for all and modern restrooms: those disabled or with limited mobility, parents with strollers and small children. ✥A quiet reading room in the historic section of the library, with a fireplace, stained glass windows, and the lovely original oak woodwork. ✥Multipurpose community meeting spaces for performance events, author visits, educational programming, committee meetings, presentations, classes and workshops. ✥An expanded children’s area with movable shelving to allow us to use the space in multiple ways. ✥Dedicated teen space with comfortable seating and expanded resources. ✥Outdoor patio space and terraced stairs, allowing for gatherings and performances. ✥Expanded computer workspaces, allowing for more users and moderat privacy within a communal space.

Why is the expansion so big—how many more books do we really need?

The expanded facility will allow expansion of the collection over time. Books will still be a core service of the library, but a 21st century library is more than just books. We want to create a welcoming downtown community hub filled with opportunities for creation, collaboration, education, social interactions, cultural evens—and still have space where you can find a good book to enjoy.

Why should I pay for this addition when I don't use the Library? My kids are grown and gone.

To support building of this addition is to give new life to a beloved Hardwick institution and to invest in the future of our community and our children. We are building for the next one hundred years. Expanded space will enable the JML to offer programs and services to all ages that we can't provide now. It will be an extremely pleasant environment in which to spend time. Perhaps this will inspire you to explore how the Library can meet your current interests and inspire new ones.

Technology

How many computers will the Library have? Will there be privacy screens?

We currently have 10 computers, (6 are located in the current center hall with privacy screens and dividers) and 4 laptops which we hand out to patrons upon request. Privacy is obviously a requirement, one we have done our best to build into the preliminary design. Only additional space will truly afford reasonable privacy. We expect computer usage to expand with the addition, eventually requiring between 5 to 10 additional units, probably not purchased all at once.

How will the library treat technology in a fast-changing world?

The Jeudevine Library now offers a large range of technology-based resources, along with training for those patrons who seek it, limited only by space constraints. Resources include online databases and collections, computer stations, laptops, e-book readers, free Wi-Fi and low-cost printing, among others. In the expanded library there will be space to more comfortably use the current technology plus the addition of space for video conferencing, computer classes and web-based programming. The Board of Trustees, volunteers and architects understand that space for technology must be flexible and able to accommodate fast-changing needs.

Access

Will the new addition enable those with limited mobility or who are disabled to use the facility?

Yes, the design offers full accessibility to the entire public facility, both the addition and the existing historical Jeudevine. Meeting ADA requirements means we will be able to apply for many grants and donations currently unavailable to us.

Where will we park?

We will continue to park on the streets adjacent to the existing library.

Design

Who developed the preliminary design and where can I see it?

After a lengthy, thorough search and bid process, the Trustees hired gossens bachman Architects (gbA) of Montpelier to create the design. These talented architects designed the addition for the Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier and the Willey Library at Johnson State College. You can learn more about gbA at their website site gbarchitecture.com. You can see our design on the project website www.jeudevineproject.org or on large display boards at the library or at various community presentations being held prior to the bond vote.

Cost

How much will the project cost?

Due to the complexity of the project and to help reduce the project's impact on taxes, the JML Board of Trustees decided to approach it in two phases. Phase I includes the construction of the new addition, addressing the pressing need for more space. Phase II includes renovation of the existing building. Phase I construction costs are estimated to be $1,965,865. Using a professional feasibility study as our guide, we estimate that private donations could supply $415,000 and grants could supply $600,000. The estimated remaining amount of $950,865 will be provided by a municipal bond, if the vote to be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 is successful. It is important to note that the law specifies we must bond for the full amount of the Phase I project ($1.965,865), subject to reduction through the receipt of any available state and federal grants-in-aid and other financial assistance. The full amount of the Phase I project will NOT be taxpayers' actual contribution. Proceeds from donations and grants will be spent first before drawing down from the final bond amount. The Phase II costs of approximately $578,145 will be raised via grants and private donations over time, building on the foundation of Phase I. WE ANTICIPATE THAT PHASE II WILL NOT REQUIRE ADDITIONAL BONDING. The proposed funding plan for the Jeudevine Project calls for the smallest possible impact on residents’ property tax bills.

When will the capital campaign begin?

The Jeudevine Project Capital Campaign will begin later in Spring 2017. Initial reaction has been very positive. We have been asked to apply for a USDA Community Facility Program loan and grant because our project meets such a critical need in the NEK. If approved, this program will allow us to borrow just over $1.9 million at a lower interest rate than a bond bank loan. This also underscores the potential for charitable donations, where the clear and pressing need motivates generous giving.

How many grants will we get and who will write them?

We have received our first grant to specifically fund the hiring of professional grant consultants. They have already created a preliminary 11-page detailed list of possible grants for all aspects of the project for which we may qualify. They will shortly create a timeline to make sure we meet all application deadlines. The USDA has indicated that our grant application for special NEK REAP funding will most likely be approved. Jodi Lew-Smith, chair of the Library Task Force, will head a grant-writing committee to help complete this task.

What will be the town’s liability if the goals for grants and donations are not met?

The Board of Trustees and the members of the Library Task Force are committed to raising as much as we can in donations and grants. A professional feasibility study indicates that we can raise what we estimate or more. Showing community support by passing the bond vote is critical. This encourages both donors and grantors to generously support the project, thereby reducing the impact on taxpayers. Funds raised by grants and charitable donations will be spent first before spending bond funds, thereby minimizing the interest and principal to be paid by taxpayers.

What will it cost to operate the newly expanded library?

The library has been designed specifically with sight lines to critical areas, so that no additional staffing will be required. The new building will be as energy efficient as possible and exceed commercial building codes, thereby minimizing the increase in monthly utility costs. Current fuel cost just for the historic JML is approximately $ 2,016 annually. Based on a much tighter envelope, more efficient boilers, and added ventilation system, gbA consulting engineers estimate that the #2 fuel oil usage could be roughly 2,000 to 2,200 gallons of fuel oil. At roughly $2.25 per gallon, this cost might be $4,500 to $5,000 per year, depending of course on weather. Our current electrical cost for the historic JML is approximately $1,112 annually. We will be tripling the space open to the public, the building will be air conditioned and equipped with a modern ventilation system, so gbA consulting engineers estimate $3,200 for yearly electrical cost. Final figures can't be accurately determined until construction drawings are completed after the bond passes. It appears that the project will increase utility costs by approximately $8,000 annually.

What contributes to the cost of library construction?

Current code minimums require construction of extreme strength for libraries, obviously increasing cost. The live load for library construction is 150 psf (pounds per square foot) for library stacks, 100 psf for general public assembly, 60 psf for library reading rooms, and 50 psf for office use. The library stacks live load applies to conventional stacks only and especially dense stacks required a higher psf.

Doesn’t it cost a lot more to build those round walls on the design?

The architects and their mechanical engineers estimate that the additional cost in labor is about $20,000, which represents about an 1% increase to the budget. The historic Jeudevine Library is loved and admired today because the builders went the “extra mile” back in 1897. The rounded ends on the addition shown in the preliminary design harmonize with the rounded edges on the tower of the existing building. We feel a 1% increase is a reasonable price for creating an addition that is a work of art in itself, does justice to the original historic building and encourages visitors. We hope the expanded library will continue to be loved and admired, providing a legacy for future generations of Hardwickians.

Could the addition be “net zero”?

A net-zero building comes with an often significant price, and we understand that we must try to limit the burden on taxpayers. The addition will have an extremely tight thermal envelope and efficient heating and cooling that well surpasses mandated codes. One of the best ways to achieve net zero is with supplemental solar panels. There is no place on the existing sites to construct a solar array and a limited amount of southern exposure. We will continue to explore this possibility, although the cost of constructing of an appropriately sized solar array is estimated at more than $250,000, not counting land. This would be an outstanding opportunity for generous donors to provide both land and construction of a solar array to offset increased electrical cost of the addition and get us closer to net zero.

Who owns the property where the Library is located and the adjacent lot that formerly was the Senior Center?

The Town of Hardwick owns both lots and the Jeudevine Library building, so the Town will own the addition.

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