What changes will be made to the building and grounds?
The building changes will occur within the current building footprint. While addressing necessary maintenance needs, we will reallocate space to better meet the needs of today’s patrons and those of the future. The plans include the following improvements:
Updated meeting room with easy-to-use technology
New small conference room for meetings of 6-8 people
Two additional small study / tutor / meeting rooms
Coffee & hot beverage station
Dedicated storytime and craft space
New Young Adult room
Lighter, more open spaces and more clearly defined collections
New native gardens with commemorative walkways
New patio & program space
Single service desk for improved customer service
Larger technology space with room for new services
Additional parking spaces
Updated HVAC systems
Why is the building project necessary?
There are three answers to this question:
The current building was renovated nearly 25 years ago. Many of the mechanical systems are nearing the end of their natural life expectancy, including several rooftop HVAC units, 2 boiler pumps, and the lighting fixtures. The carpet, paint, furnishing, and other finishes have likewise not been updated since 1995.
Significant changes have occurred in our culture and the way people gather information in the past 25 years. The advent of social media and smartphones, the decreasing cost of technology, and a dramatic increase in publishing and the availability of information have changed people’s information needs. Rather than decreasing dependence on the Library, these changes have resulted in a 70% increase in reference questions since the new building opened in 1996. During this time the Library has already added services, including one-on-one technology assistance, new e-collections, and more programs (90% increase) attended by even more people (140% increase).
Input from survey and focus groups during long-term planning begun in 2013 identified opportunities to better meet patrons’ needs and expectations. Many of the goals we set in consequence require changes to the Library’s space.
How much will it cost?
The total Renewal Project project cost is $4,000,000. More than $3,000,000 of this cost will be directly related to the building updates--both construction and soft costs, such as furnishings, technology, and shelving. It also includes a built-in construction contingency fund. The Library has secured a $1,000,000 construction grant from the Connecticut State Library and $1,750,000 from the Town of Old Lyme. The remaining $1,250,000 will be privately raised.
How was Town funding decided, and how will it impact me?
On July 23, 2018, a special Town Meeting was held to vote on municipal funding of the project totaling $1.75 million. The motion to fund the project passed 104 to 30. The following household costs are based on a 15-year note with a conservatively high interest rate and were provided by the Town of Old Lyme:
Appraised Home Value / FY19-20 Anticipated Tax Increase
$347,200 / $24.00
$540,200 / $38.00
$1,254,400 / $88.00