The planning process has begun! As you probably know if you’ve read this blog before, the current Library is too small for our community. While the Library staff has gotten very good at making do, being creative and patching problems, the needs that brought the 2009 referendum to vote still exist. Not only is the 27,000 square foot Library inadequate to serve 75,000+ people, it has also endured over 20 years of heavy public use. In 2011, through surveying and open forums, you told the Library Board an expansion was needed, but that you were not yet ready to have it on the ballot for economic reasons. The Library Board listened, creating a Strategic Plan that continued goals of Service Excellence, Community Focus and Stewardship while maintaining the aging and undersized facility. The final step in that Strategic Plan is planning for expansion, with a tentative referendum date of November 2016.
In November 2014, the Library Board of Trustees contracted with Anders Dahlgren of Library Planning Associates to update the Space Needs Analysis and Building Program, originally developed in 2007-2008. He is the first of a team of experts being assembled by the Library Board. In early 2015, finance consultants, architects and an owners’ representative will be selected to support the needs assessment phase of the planning process. By starting the planning process 2 years prior to a possible referendum date, the Library Board of Trustees will be able to create a plan and engage the community in providing meaningful feedback on it prior to any final decision to place a question on the November 2016 ballot.