A New Library? Why Not Renovate?

Renovation was the first option investigated and thoroughly researched as the Library staff, Board and, later, City Library Facilities Task Force, assessed how to meet the community’s needs for library materials and services. No one wanted to leave our current location.

After over a year of research, the bottom line was that the community needs more than a simple library renovation it needs space and flexibility that cannot be achieved without significant expansion or a new facility.

Ultimately, research revealed that a renovation would cost $12-13 million and was determined too costly and infeasible.

Here is a breakdown of how that conclusion was reached.

The Task Force concluded that although renovation was possible, doing so would not address the true space and flexibility needs in question, resulting in an inferior facility and leaving residents to address those deficiencies again in the near future.

Their investigations showed that the fiscally responsible solution was to invest in a library facility that would be a permanent, sustainable solution not an expensive temporary facelift.

There has been some confusion about the true cost of a renovation.

Here are the facts.

The Task Force reviewed a report providing an estimate on a renovation of the current building that included ZERO EXPANSION, no structural code updates and no furniture, fixtures or equipment. You can view that report at http://archive.wppl.org/info/TaskForceFiles/Winter-Park-Library-Renovation_Concept_Budget_May_02_2014.pdf. The cost for that renovation s$5,112,605.

But as we tell the children who come to the library working on their research projects, the first easy-to-find answer isn’t always the right one. Many critical components were not included in the preliminary estimate.

Here are the “hidden” costs the Task force uncovered as their investigation progressed:

  1. Rental of a temporary location for the library, moving and storage expenses, and operating expenses at a temporary location - $1 million +
  2. Cost to bring the building up to code with structural work (elevators, wider stairs, bathrooms) were not addressed in the $5.1 million, and would add around $1 million.
  3. Cost of furniture, technology and equipment - $1.5 million
  4. Cost of parking garage: $2 - 3 million
  5. Other things not included in the conditional estimate referenced above:
    Architectural, structural, kitchen, or civil design fees
    Builder’s Risk insurance policy and deductibles
    Cost certification
    Building permit fees
    Prevailing wages, MBE/WBE set-asides, and/or Union workforce requirements Architectural, structural, kitchen, or civil design fees
    Inspection, tap, usage, EPA, or any other government or utility fee
    Changes made by governmental authorities
    Utility company impact and connection fees (electric, cable, telephone, gas, etc.)
    Unforeseen conditions including unfavorable structural or soil conditions
    Environmental testing or abatement
    Estimated at $1.5 million

Let’s add this up:

$5.1 million renovation + $1 million code upgrades + $1.5 million for furnishings, equipment and technology + $1 million or more to move + $2 - 3 million garage + $1.5 in fees and miscellaneous costs = $12.1 – 13.1 million to renovate a building that will still be too small to adequately serve the community.

This is why the Task Force unanimously recommended a new structure.

Spending $12 – 13 million for a renovation didn’t solve the serious space, flexibility and accessibility issues that lead us here in the first place and was an irresponsible use of taxpayer resources.

Thus the Library Facilities Task Force determined that a new or greatly expanded structure was the only clear, responsible solution for the residents of Winter Park.

Read more about the proposed new library, events center and parking
Questions? Thoughts? E-mail mgcoffee@wppl.org.


February 11, 2016