Questions and answers about our new Logan Library
Remodeling the existing building may seem to be an easy solution, but there are several difficulties. First, the existing building was originally comprised of several old buildings that have been connected and remodeled a few times over the last 70 or 80 years. There are many problems with the overall building that would need to be resolved. These include roof leaks, window replacement, mechanical and electrical system problems and numerous finish and repair items.
Second, in order to do such an extensive remodel while keeping the library in service, it would require several phases and would not only be a severe disruption to the use of the library, cause problems with dust and noise but would add to the construction costs.
Third, to function properly, a library needs large open spaces with good visibility. The existing building is divided into many small rooms, so the building would essentially need to be gutted, again adding to the costs.
Fourth, building codes have changed since the last remodel in 1985, including seismic standards. In order to bring the existing building up to safe, functional and comfortable standards, it would need to be completely demolished (not just "gutted") to start new from the ground up.
Finally, the building has no historic value or intrinsic design presence. A library should be distinctive and somewhat inspiring. A new facility will provide a new, functional library that will be a center for our community.
So while it seems that renovation and expansion would be considerably less expensive than building new space, in fact, this is not the case.
Libraries are busier than ever. Books and materials continue to be borrowed at a brisk pace, our computers are in constant use, there isn't enough space for story times or for the children and teenagers who swarm in the library after school. More than 45% of our residents use the library currently at least once a month and another 32% use it one to four times per year. These are the people who physically walk through our doors. Did you know that nearly one million people entered our library “virtually” or electronically this past year?
Communities throughout our country and the world are investing in new libraries – and those that do, see their use skyrocket. In fact, an investment in a new library in the downtown region of Logan would provide an anchor of stability and vibrancy to the area.