Frequently Asked Questions
We have done our best to answer frequent questions below. However, if you don't see an answer to your question, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page and someone from the Library or Library Board will get back to you.
Why build a new facility instead of renovating the current one?
- It is much easier to design a functional floor plan from scratch than work around existing supports and features.
- There is a shortened construction period.
- The current Library can remain open throughout construction.
- It will minimize unforeseen conditions.
If approved, when will construction start?
- If the project is passed at referendum, a building committee will be appointed by the Town Council.
- That committee will go out to bid for an architect and construction manager-at-risk to help take the concept plans to actual schematic building drawings.
- It is possible the building will not break ground for 18 months.
Have you considered using space in Derynoski Elementary School?
- Decisions regarding the future of the school have not yet been made.
- If Derynoski remains a school there will be security expectations that a public building, like a library, cannot maintain.
What are the code and infrastructure issues in the existing building?
How was the cost projected?
- Tappé Architects contracted with PM&C LLC, out of Massachusetts, to provide the original cost estimate in February 2020.
- The proposed plans had gone through many iterations during that time. The estimate was reviewed again in April 2021, taking into consideration the post-pandemic economy.
- On February 1, 2022 a new Request For Proposal was posted with the bid opening held on March 1, 2022.
- DRA was awarded the bid contract and a letter of congratulations was sent on April 26, 2022, with their contract dated for June 22, 2022.
Who will be paying for the project?
- The Council has sent the project to referendum in the amount of $16,900,000.
- The Library Board of Directors has a fund at CFGNB for capital improvements. These funds will likely be used to either offset the total project cost or pay for incidentals not within the budget.
- The Friends of the Southington Public Library may also elect to contribute funds.
- State Representative Chris Poulos secured an additional $5,000,000 in State funds on Oct. 6 2023.
Why is library construction so expensive?
- Libraries present challenging HVAC scenarios – with large interconnected volumes of air and differing levels of occupancy over short periods of time. (It’s everything from dehumidification, to CO2 monitoring, to ASHRAE IAQ ventilation requirements. This could be an additional $15-$20/sf for HVAC alone.)
- The current library has been open for 46 years but was not designed to be a 40+ year building. Most new buildings are being designed to last 75+ years with much lower-maintenance and longer lasting materials.
- Libraries have particularly challenging acoustic concerns that influence HVAC system design and interior wall floor ceiling treatments and finishes.
- Libraries need to include high quality (highly durable) finishes because of the high volume of visitors so that they do not quickly show wear.
- Libraries need to also be inviting/appealing as places to spend time in focused concentration, engaged conversation, or learning activities.
- Historically, libraries have offered handsome interiors with appealing finishes that both uplift and inspire (consider the Carnegie building across the street).
- Early learning environments in libraries need to inspire children’s imaginations, as well as be able to be scrubbed to make them safe for children.
- Furnishings need to be simultaneously comfortable, durable, hygienic and attractive.
- Parking requirements generally exceed the floor area of the building (this site will have more than an acre in parking +110 places) for a less than 35,000sf building.
- The library will need to receive LEED certification form the USGBC to qualify for $1M in state grant funds
- 21st century libraries are infused with high levels of information technology and audio visual systems – requiring robust technology infrastructure backbones flexible enough to accommodate future changes.
- Painted concrete block or ceramic tile walls, concrete or vinyl floors and hard wood furnishings are durable and affordable, but don’t fulfill a library building’s other requirements. - Jeff Hoover, 2/11/2020