We submitted our final report on the Planning and Design grant to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Along with this report we submitted the various studies, drawings, and plans that were created through the grant. We also submitted a Letter of Intent to apply for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program grant. Our Letter of Intent was accepted. At a workshop to review the application process, we learned that 34 other communities in Massachusetts have submitted Letters of Intent.
July and August were quiet months while we prepared the final plans and reports required to close out the Planning and Design grant phase of the project. We’ll submit these to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Next, we’ll begin writing the construction grant that Town Meeting authorized us to apply for. The grant is due in January 2017, and we expect to hear the status in July 2017. In the meantime, the Library Building Study Committee has scheduled a meeting for September 13th to review what still needs to be done for the construction grant application.
The Kingston Public Library Foundation has been working on plans for a capital campaign to help raise some of the funds that will be needed to match the construction grant. There will be a kick-off event on April 7th. Stay tuned for details!
We presented the proposal to Town Meeting on June 21st. Town Meeting members asked questions, which we found very useful, and voted to proceed with applying for a construction grant. The grant is due at the end of January 2017.
If the application is approved, Kingston’s project will be placed on a prioritized list, since an expected 35 other municipalities in Massachusetts will also be applying for this competitive grant. Kingston’s place on the list will determine when Kingston voters will be asked at a special Town Meeting and a town-wide ballot vote to approve local funding. The vote could come in 2017, but it’s more likely to be 2018 or later.
The Kingston Public Library Foundation is launching a capital campaign to raise funds to help pay for the project.
We now have preliminary designs for a new building, just under 21,000 square feet, proposed for the current location at 6 Green Street. We presented the design to the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, and Capital Planning Committee. We’ll be developing that design further and working on cost estimates, which we hope to complete by the middle of March.
We hope that you will come to one of two public forum sessions planned for January 5th at 2 pm and 7 pm, at the Library, to see what the design looks like so far and hear the data behind the decision to propose new construction at the existing location. This is still a very early stage of the design process — if Town Meeting approves moving ahead with pursuing a 50% construction grant, and if Kingston is awarded the grant and the Town accepts it, the project will still go through a long design development process. There is plenty of time for you to help shape the project, and we very much hope you will come to a forum and contribute your ideas about Kingston’s future library.
We plan to offer two more forums in February, date still to be determined, but if you can’t make it to any of these sessions, please come to the library to see the designs, ask questions, and offer your ideas. We’ve set up a suggestion box in the lobby and welcome your emails and phone calls to 781-585-0517 x122 or email@example.com
The Committee met twice in November to review data on new construction versus renovation/expansion. The data makes it clear that new construction provides a better position on the site, a more efficient floor plan, and greater flexibility for future needs. The cost difference is fairly small between the two approaches. Based on this data, the Committee took a provisional vote to support new construction at the current location. We will be giving a project update to the Finance Committee and Capital Planning Committee on December 14th and the Board of Selectmen on December 15th.
Plans are underway to present preliminary designs to residents at two public forums on January 5th, at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Library. We hope you will join us to see the proposal so far and give us your thoughts.
After looking at two alternate sites, we concluded that 6 Green Street is still the best location for the town’s library. It’s close to other town buildings with related functions, provides a good transition between the downtown area and the mostly residential historical district, has enough parking, room for expansion, and it’s easy to find. In our various surveys and public forums, people have repeatedly told us that they like the current location.
At our October meeting, the architects presented two preliminary designs to help us evaluate whether a renovation/expansion or new construction would be the best approach to meeting the space and service needs. The committee has asked for costs of both approaches as part of the data we will use to make that decision. We expect to make that decision at the end of November, and we will then be able to develop designs for whichever approach is selected. We will present the preliminary design to the Board of Selectmen on December 15th and to residents at a public forum on January 5th.
We also met with the planners the Town has hired, to bring them up to date on what we’re doing as they work on the town’s new Master Plan.
We met twice in September, to review possible sites and approaches for the expansion space we need. We also presented the project to the Board of Selectmen at their September 22nd meeting. Here is a link to that presentation on the PACTV website. The library presentation starts at 1 hr and 3 minutes in and continues to the end. We will be offering a couple of public forums soon. In the meantime, we welcome your questions and comments. You can speak with any member of the committee or with Library Director Sia Stewart.
We held our first meeting with Oudens Ello Architecture to review project goals and schedule. We set a preliminary schedule that includes a presentation to the Board of Selectmen for a project update on September 22nd, as well as two or three public meetings to update residents about the project. These will be oppportunities for you to learn about the project and for us to get your reactions and feedback to the design ideas at several stages. Watch for announcements about dates and locations!
We interviewed three architect firms and selected a finalist: Oudens Ello Architecture. We’ve seen some of their work already — they designed the new libraries in Millis and West Tisbury. Two other projects of theirs are under construction now: the new libraries in Eastham and Scituate. We’re very excited about working with them on a great solution to Kingston’s library space issues.
We’re also happy to welcome a new member to our committee, Selectmen Lindsay Wilson. He brings a deep knowledge of the laws and regulations that affect this project, as well as an understanding of Kingston’s planning, finances, and procedures that will be very valuable to us.
We issued an RFQ for architectural services in June, conducted a walk-through of the building for nine firms, and received six responses to the RFQ. We’ll review the responses and interview finalists in July. We hope to select a firm and have a signed contract by the end of July. Then we’ll begin the exciting work of beginning to develop a design and cost proposal for Kingston’s future library. Stay tuned for updates!