Library Renovation & Addition Project
Background - Building Committee - Design - Documents - Donate - FAQs
BUILDING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE
In December, 2017, the Library Board of Trustees appointed a Library Building Design and Construction Committee, charged with producing requirements for the proposed addition, selecting an architect, and reviewing designs. Committee members were appointed by the Library Trustees, with input from the Tisbury Board of Selectmen.
The nine member committee is made up of community members with experience in building projects, representatives of the Friends of the Library, Library Trustees, and the Library Director. Meetings of the Committee are subject to Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, and meeting notices are posted in advance on the Library’s event calendar, Town of Tisbury Website, and at Tisbury Town Hall.
Arch Smith, Chair of Library Board of Trustees (Ex-officio)
In August 2018, the Building Design and Construction Committee issued a Request for Qualifications for Design Services, and interviewed four firms that responded. Maryann Thompson, Architects, was selected for the project.
In January 2019 the design team and the Commitee began the programming and conceptual design phase of the project, and completed a site survey, documentation and analysis of existing conditions, and building systems assessment.
On February 7th 2019, the Tisbury Vision Forum hosted a Community Meeting with the design team, to learn how the community envisioned the new space, and how they would like the meeting room to look and feel, using a 'wish list' and a character study process to understand community preferences.
Conceptual design work continued through fourteen schemes based on four proposed site plans. Draft cost estimates were produced based on three site plans, and in May 2019 a site plan was recommended to the Board of Library Trustees and approved at the May 22nd, 2019 joint meeting of the Board and Committee.
On June 3rd 2019, the Committee hosted a 2nd Community Meeting to provide an overview of the conceptual design phase, present the site plan to serve as the basis for schematic design, and offer a "menu" of other potential building improvements.
At the April 2023 Tisbury Town Meeting, voters approved an additional $800,000 in funding in order to complete repairs to the existing library building along with the planned meeting room addition as a single project. An Owner's project manager will be retained in July 2023, with plans for groundbreaking in 2024 pending completion of the capital campaign.
The Vineyard Haven Library Board of Trustees has announced a Capital Campaign to raise funds for the addition. Fundraising efforts are being led by the Vineyard Haven Public Library Building Fund, Inc. (VHPLBFI), a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization made up volunteers from the community. VISIT THE VHPLBFI WEBSITE TO DOWNLOAD A PLEDGE FORM OR DONATE ONLINE
How will this project be funded?
Doesn't the Library already have a meeting room?
Education and lifelong learning are top priorities for our community, as is reflected in the library’s strategic goals. The library currently holds 7 to 10 free public programs each week for all ages, with several thousand people attending annually. The library’s current Activity Room lacks characteristics appropriate for community programming, and program attendance regularly exceeds the capacity of this room.
What work needs to be done on the existing building?
Almost 25 years since the last renovation and addition, the library building has damage and wear, failing systems, and accessibility issues. The renovation will address these issues and make the building more weather-tight and energy efficient. Issues to be addressed include the following:
The VHPL Building Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit, has undertaken a Capital Campaign to fund the addition to the building, which will create a 1,200 square foot multipurpose meeting room, significant additional basement space, and make improvements to the reading room and garden area. The campaign has gifts or pledges nearing $1.5 million, and the volunteers will continue fundraising through the beginning of construction.
Why can’t the project be funded by grants?
VHPL will not be eligible for funding through the state Library Construction Grant Program until 2029, and there is no guarantee that the grant program will have funding at that time (projects remain on the waiting list since the 2017 grant round).
The library building fund has received a number of generous grants from private foundations for the meeting room addition, but grant funding is limited as many local foundations do not support capital projects by organizations like the library that can be sustained by tax-payer dollars.
Why is the Meeting Room addition important?
Since 2007, the Vineyard Haven Public library has experienced more than 300% growth in attendance at adult programs. The library hosts at least 40 events each month for all ages, and attendance has continued to be robust, with more than 6,000 attendees at online and in-person events in FY2022.
In order to safely gather our community for future in-person events we will need a larger space with proper ventilation. The planned community room will have up-to-date technology, ample storage, and appropriate lighting and acoustics. Features will include large windows and doors looking out to the garden, a state-of-the art sound system including an assisted hearing loop, and a large projection screen with high resolution projection system. The project will also include technology and features to allow for quality live streaming of programs for those who can't attend in person.
The room will also be available as a meeting space for area nonprofits, government organizations, and social service providers, and will be used as a collaborative work space for library visitors. Having a large and flexible multipurpose space will allow the library to respond to other community needs, such as serving as cooling center.
How will the courtyard garden area be impacted?
The addition will encompass a portion of the existing patio garden but is sited to leave a large garden area (approximately 2,000 square feet) remaining. Landscaping will increase accessibility and improve interaction between the meeting room, reading room, and garden space. The project will include a new interpretation of the Shakespeare Garden dedicated to Margaret Webster, that was lost in the 1999 renovation.
Will there be enough parking to accommodate the attendance at library events?
Our review of the recent programs indicate that the new room will not significantly change the number of attendees, but will allow for more flexibility, fewer disruptions to other uses of the Library, and more appropriate accommodations. Many citizens currently walk to the Library and others who do drive find sufficient parking nearby (more than 80 street parking spaces are available within walking distance).
Is the project being designed in such a way that it is environmentally friendly and sustainable?
Our architects are creating a plan to improve the sustainability of the entire library with many new windows, a state-of-the art HVAC system, passive lighting, and the addition of solar panels.
Will the Library be open during renovation?
The library building will need to be closed for a period during renovation, but the library will plan to provide services from a temporary location. The repairs and addition can be done at the same time to avoid multiple closures.
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