How does the current cost estimate compare to the previous version?
Based on the preliminary cost estimate dated February 17, which was $5.6 million, there is a savings of $1 million.
Will the ceiling height in the town hall meeting room (the former church building) be raised?
Yes, we have funds in the budget to remove the current eight foot ceiling and to repair and restore the existing tin ceiling. The design allows us to use the whole space, and the building will be returned to its full size with the ceiling at the original 14 foot height.
I think you’ve done a great job on the library, particularly because we can look upon the library as a community center as well as a library. The fact that the children’s area has been expanded is a great step forward, and a meeting room for local organizations is sorely needed. The program room will allow the library to put on cultural programs which is a great community service. Another community service is the computer center, and you have laid that out very nicely. Also thinking about the children’s section, the town does have a senior center which it shares with Old Lyme, but outside the school, this is Lyme’s only children’s oriented center. I think that is an asset for any town. It’s a great plan, though I wish it were larger. But it is still very well done.
Thank you. Regarding meeting rooms, if you look at both buildings on the site, you go from a six person conference room to a 15, a 70 and to a 100 person meeting room. If we need more space we can still come here to the school which can hold up to 250. It gives us flexibility and allows multiple groups to meet at the same time. Members of the committee and the library went to other towns of similar size and saw their libraries. What they brought back has been put into this design.
Why should we build a new library when we have a perfectly good building that could be expanded?
We looked at a plan to put an addition on the currently library, but by the time you take it apart and rebuild it, it would cost less for a new building. The current building is slab-on-grade, so each time you want to do something such as install plumbing or wiring for computers, you have to cut the slab.
Taking the old building down gives us a clean slate. The proposed building is only around 2500 square feet larger than the current building, but we were able to include so many great features. One feature is the noise control. In the current building, noise from the children’s room is a problem. Right now, when the kids come in, the adults leave.
What happened to the ball field?
It is still there. The buildings will be centered around the green space made up by the ball field and the town green. When you come by, you will see the town hall, the library and the school with this large open green space between the buildings.
I’ve been to libraries where people bring their laptops in. Will that be available here?
The library currently has wireless, and it will be in the new building as well.
There is the same number of computer stations that you have now. Is that enough?
There are 4 stations in the adult area, but there would be space to use one of the library’s laptops or to bring your own device. There are also an additional 3 computers in the children’s room. At the moment, there are no computers in that area.
How does this design reconcile with the fact that, in very few years books will be a thing of the past? Is this library built for the future? What research did you do to determine what we need in the year 2020?