Public views plans for new Addison library

Preliminary plans for a proposed new 13,000-square-foot Addison Township Public Library were unveiled to the public last Wednesday night.
About 30 township residents and officials turned out to see what the Ann Arbor-based David W. Osler Associates & Architects designed to meet Addison’s growing library needs.
Architect David Osler showed the audience a three-dimensional model of the proposed site plan and building, sketches of proposed floor plans and renderings of the proposed facility’s north and south elevations.
The proposed plan calls for an estimated $2.9 million facility (see shaded box on page 8 for a projected cost breakdown) to be constructed on a 3.85-acre parcel on the north side of Rochester Road, between Milmine St. to the west and Cantley St. to the east, directly across from the township complex. According to library Director Michele Presley, the land is being donated by a party who wishes to remain anonymous.
Presley said she was ‘thrilled? with Osler’s plans.
‘I love them,? she said. ‘I’m very impressed. . .It’s not what I expected, but I’m delighted with it.?
Presley said the plans indicated Osler put a ‘great deal of thought? into the project and is ‘truly concerned? about incorporating functionality into the design.
‘If I could build it tomorrow, I would,? she said.
To meet the township’s projected 20-year growth, the proposed plan calls for a ground-level 9,000-square-foot finished facility featuring:
n An expanded and enhanced collection, immediately available to the public.
n Efficient and easy access to the entire library collection with storage and archiving capabilities.
n Additional computer workstations and dedicated space for technology.
n Additional, more diverse seating offering a variety of seating options (i.e. children’s seating, casual reading, study and research, etc.)
n Quiet study rooms.
n Comfortable reading areas.
n A designated children’s area, separated from the adult/main library area.
n Space designated for teenagers.
n A separate program/community meeting room with food service support (available for rental and able to be closed off from the rest of the library, allowing after hours usage).
n Expanded programming and meeting opportunities for all community members and groups.
n Convenient book drop.
n Increased work space for staff to provide better, faster services to patrons.
Osler said he envisions the inside of the library as being a ‘very warm environment? with ‘wood ceilings? and ‘exposed trusses? that exudes a sense of ‘peace and quiet.?
‘I want it to look and feel like a library,? he said. ‘I think a building can make you go ‘Shhh.??
The west side of the proposed library will feature a partial view of Lakeville Lake. The east side will feature the building entrance, parking lot with 60-65 spaces and a turnaround spot for dropping off visitors. The north side will face a naturally wooded area.
The outside of the proposed facility will feature ‘field stone? as a ‘trim? around the base, but primarily be covered with manufactured wooden shingles, which Osler recommended because they’re ‘not expensive,? they ‘weather nicely,? they ‘soften? the building’s appearance and they require relatively low maintenance.
To provide for future facility expansion, the proposed plan also includes a 4,000-square-foot unfinished basement, basically a ‘shell,? which Osler said would provide a ‘give and take? to the design.
For example, he said the community room could eventually be moved to the basement so as to expand the children’s section upstairs.
Osler recommended building the unfinished basement now when it can be done for ?40 to 50 cents on the dollar? of what it would cost to do ?15 years from now.? The architect estimated the unfinished basement could be constructed for about $50 per square foot as opposed to the finished upstairs which will could about $165 per square foot.
Cost is something his firm is very conscious of, Osler told the audience.
‘We’ll do everything within our power to keep costs down and stay within budget,? he said. ‘We try very hard to hit the budget. We’re very proud of the fact that the last 10 libraries we did either hit the budget or were below it.?
Although it has not formally decided exactly how to pay for this new facility, the Addison library board is examining using a combination of private donations and requesting voters approve a bond issue in the next regularly scheduled election next year.
Library Board President Nina Ciccolini said the board wants to avoid holding a special election in order to spare the taxpayers the added expense.
Preliminary figures from The Breton Group, a Grand Rapids-based consulting firm, set a ‘benchmark? goal of raising $750,000 in private contributions from area foundations, businesses, individuals and families. However, Ciccolini noted that number could be raised or lowered, depending on what the board sees as a feasible goal.
‘They could raise it to $1 million or lower it to $500,000,? she said, adding the board’s goal is to ‘absorb as much of the impact? on taxpayers as it possibly can through private donations.
Preliminary figures from The Breton Group also indicated that the rest of the money for the new facility could be derived from a voter-approved bond issue to be paid off over a 20-year period by an estimated 0.717-mill tax levy.
To meet the additional operating costs generated by such a large facility, The Breton Group stated that an estimated 0.692-mill levy will be required in addition to the current operating tax levy of 0.6218-mill.
The total projected tax impact would be 1.409-mill, which would cost the owner of a $150,000 home with a $75,000 taxable value an additional $105.67 per year.
Ciccolini wanted to stress to the public that all of these numbers are just estimates. ‘Everything is preliminary,? she said. ‘Nothing’s been decided yet. The numbers could go down or up.?
To determine what type of new library the public is willing to support in terms of cost, tax burden, private contributions, building size and amenities, 90 township residents have been asked via a mailing to participate in a ‘feasibility study.?
This cross-section of residents will be interviewed one-on-one by Breton Group representatives and their input will be compiled into a report to be presented to the library board in late June or early July. The public’s input and level of support will help determine what direction the new library project takes, Ciccolini said.