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Nothing is final. The final plan could be the original version of Option A or B, a combination of the two, or an entirely different Option C. The final plan will be the result of the community’s feedback.
Given the cost estimates of the options being considered, ACPL would need to seek financing through the issuance of bonds that will require voter approval through a referendum process. Once the plan has been finalized, ACPL will be able to provide an estimate of how this would affect individual property owners. Because of the strong fiscal responsibility and stewardship of our Board of Trustees, ACPL has an estimated $21 million dollars in reserves to contribute toward the project. In 2021, the bonds from our previous building projects in the early 2000s were paid off in their entirety. That means ACPL is debt free.
We would not propose to close/relocate a branch to reduce service. Rather it would be because the building had limitations such as condition or location that prevent us from providing what the community deserves, and we want to provide something bigger and better. Both Plans A and B actually expand the amount of overall branch square footage throughout ACPL while still operating 14 locations. It is also important to state that replacing or relocating a branch would not result in the loss of staff positions. We have talented people who work at ACPL and their experience is valued.
I do not want to be without my library. We completely understand and appreciate this concern –we want everyone to have convenient access to their branch library. Our goal would be to continue service out of the existing branch while the new branch was being constructed. We would sequence the building projects to minimize inconvenience and prevent disruptions in service.
No –we need our staff! None of what is being proposed would reduce staff positions. Some positions may be relocated to new or expanded branches, but that would happen a few years down the line and in consultation with the staff members affected.
Any decision to relocate a branch would be made in consultation with the neighborhoods it serves. Site selection would be based on a number of criteria including walkability, public transit options, proximity to schools, bike routes, and accessible parking. These are decisions that ACPL would make hand-in-hand with the community.
In terms of design, libraries are unique because they fulfill many different needs. The building must have ample space for the collection. It must also have designated areas for specific age groups; program and events; quiet spaces; and places where one may simply pass the time. Because all of these factors must be taken into account, we will seek out those firms and individuals with experience in the field of library design. This will be done through a public and transparent process. Whomever is ultimately chosen will be tasked with the responsibility of fulfilling our community’s vision for library spaces.
We look to take full advantage of contemporary advancements in green technology.
As a library, we strive to reduce barriers to accessing collections, services and spaces. That might come in the form of curbside delivery, eliminating overdue fines for minors, or increasing our hours of service. It also includes library buildings that are open and accessible to all patrons, regardless of age, mobility issues, or other physical considerations.In designing the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, we were intentional in including community organizations such as Turnstone and AWS to ensure that the physical space and the interactive technology would provide differently abled visitors with a meaningful experience.That same level of care will be incorporated into the remodeling/design process.
At this time, we do not have any specifics about where a new building would be located. We are very interested in hearing patrons’ suggestions about this.
Any decision to relocate a branch would be made in consultation with the neighborhoods it serves. Site selection would be based on a number of criteria including walkability, public transit options, proximity to schools, bike routes, and accessible parking. These are decisions that ACPL would make hand-in-hand with the community.Regarding closing, our goal would be to continue service out of the existing branch while the new branch is under construction. We would sequence the building projects to minimize inconvenience and prevent disruptions in service.
This is a question that has come up not only in relation to Georgetown and Dupont, but other branches as well. It seems like a simple enough solution, when in reality it is complicated and costly. In locations such as Dupont and Aboite, the footprint of the branch is only part of the problem. Both locations are landlocked, which means no space for (much needed) additional parking and outdoor programing. Aboite also has serious structural issues that would need to be addressed. Building up is incredibly disruptive to staff and patrons and would necessitate closing the branch for extensive periods during construction. A second floor would also require the addition of at least one elevator, which is expensive and takes up more space than you might anticipate. A second floor would require additional staff, which would be another expense. Our consultant has also determined that the branches were not intended or designed to have a second floor added –structurally, adding one would not be a good approach.
Dunkin’ Donuts vacated the space in late October 2019. ACPL was moving toward requesting proposals for new tenants when COVID arrived. Since that time, library furniture that was moved out of public areas to promote social distancing was stored in that space. The former Dunkin’ also served as a landing space for the contractors working on the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research. The Main Library provided space to a coffee cart on the Plaza and in the Great Hall during summer 2020. The reality is that the library’s foot traffic has not yet returned to pre-COVID levels and it was difficult for the vendor to make a profit. While it can be difficult for food vendors to succeed under ideal circumstances, it is especially challenging right now due to COVID supply issues and labor shortages. As we proceed through the FMP process, we have received feedback from staff and the community that they would like to see some type of food option offered. We have also received interest from organizations in our area that provide job training and employment opportunities for differently abled members of our community. As a library ACPL is devoted to lifelong learning, we are interested in learning more about the various ways we can partner with others. For the near future, though, there are no immediate plans to fill the space.