Comments on: AADL Board: Renovation Not the Best Option it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: David Diephuis David Diephuis Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:21:02 +0000 @12: Comparing the 2007 Providence Study with the 2008 Skanska estimates is difficult because of the different levels of detail.

A couple of thoughts—-The Providence study has no allowance costs for an interim library facility, moving in and out, architect and other professional fees ($6M-$7M), technology costs, various city fees including street closure costs (will they be closing part or all of Fifth Ave. or William?), etc.

Also, the Providence Study for the complete reconstruction option envisioned an underground parking component at a cost of almost $20M. (They thought they could get 400 spaces for that amount of money)

Both Providence and Skanska had similar estimates per square foot for just the actual new construction part of the total cost. ….$334 per sq ft for the Skanska study and a high range estimate of $353 for the Providence study. But Skanska added an additional $111 per sq ft for the expense types I mention above, while Providence had an extra $163 per sq ft budgeted for the parking.

As for the renovation and remodel option (tearing down some of the building and leaving some the earlier additions) I think the Skanska study allocates about $303 per sq ft for actual construction while Providence has a high range cost of about $209 per sq ft. The difference may be due to the extra new square footage envisioned by the Skanska estimate, about 38,000 more than the Providence study. And again, Skanska adds in over $100 per sq ft for those other costs, which Providence doesn’t address.

I’m not sure this helps, but your question inspired me to take a closer look at the two separate studies.

I wish Skanska had provided an estimate for a renovation only option.

By: Lyn Davidge Lyn Davidge Mon, 30 Jul 2012 20:13:33 +0000 The Library Board meets tonight, July 30, at 7 in a special meeting to approve ballot language for the bond issue. There is a place on the agenda for Citizen Comments. I hope more people will start attending Library Board meetings and offering their various questions, ideas and opinions during the Comment portion. I believe that our elected officials need to hear from more real, live people in addition to all the faceless and sometimes anonymous electronic input they receive.

By: Jim Rees Jim Rees Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:24:56 +0000 I’m still confused as to how the $26 million estimate for renovation in 2007 turned into $65 million. The main difference seems to be the addition of another 40,000 square feet. At the Providence high estimate of $350 per square foot, that would add $14 million to the $26 million estimate for a total of $40 million. Any other possible increases, for example move-in and increases in construction cost, would also effect the new construction estimate, which only went from $63 to $71 despite a similar increase in size. The Skansa report does not include any detail.

By: David Diephuis David Diephuis Fri, 27 Jul 2012 17:57:35 +0000 One of the implied arguements for a new library has been that the downtown facility is so busy it can’t efficiently handle the demand. But the numbers suggest that compared to the Library branches the downtown flagship is one of the least busy in the system.

In fiscal year 2010 the downtown library saw 649,000 (rounded to nearest thousand) patrons come through it’s doors while the branches had a combined 1,119,000 visitors.

In 2011 the downtown had 590,000 patrons visit and the branches had 1,146,000 patrons visit.

So, in 2011, the downtown library had 34% of the total patrons of the system. Compared to the relative size of the branches that seems to be far less than what would be expected.

Downtown Library-----------113,850 sq feet
Malletts Creek Branch-------14,000 sq feet
Traverwood Branch-----------16,500 sq feet
Pittsfield Branch-----------14,600 sq feet
West Branch------------------5,900 sq feet

Even if we discount a substanial portion of the Downtown Library’s space because of it’s unique administrative and storage functions as well as it it’s large and aging mechanical rooms, the Downtown Library still has over half all the available patron space in the Library System and probably is between 55% and 65% of the whole.

Yet it only handles 30% of all internet sessions, 32% of total checkouts, and 34% of all Library visitors.

Many factors could be causing this discrepancy occurring at the downtown building…..length of stay by patrons, different focus, ie. more programming events, collections that consume space but aren’t widely used, etc.

However, without further information, the numbers just on their face suggest to me that the branches are where the action is, and thus may deserve a greater allocation of resources.

By: Lyn Davidge Lyn Davidge Wed, 25 Jul 2012 02:29:24 +0000 Re: 600,000 annual visitors to Downtown. I believe this is a door count using an automatic tally device. At least, that’s how it was done when I worked there up until a few years ago. Perhaps someone from the Library will see this and confirm or correct me. So if one person enters the Downtown library in the morning, leaves and comes back for an evening program s/he is counted as 2 for that day. Assuming I enter the West Branch every two weeks, which is about right, I would count as 26 on the West Branch tally over the course of a year. It would be interesting to know how many individuals are represented by the 600,000, but in terms of building issues I would think that’s a less relevant figure.

As noted in the article, there’s lots of info. about the proposed building project on the Library website and questions / comments directed to “downtown at” are posted and responded to by the Director.

By: Steve Bean Steve Bean Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:15:28 +0000 @2: “Whoever is paying, the ~$13 million in additional interest will be Ann Arbor residents’ money that is paid to mostly-distant bond investors, and thus lost by our community.”

Exactly. Surovell has apparently drunk the realtor make-the-sale kool aid. The extra $3 average annual difference in property taxes between the two options (would he really notice that, even if his house is worth 10x the average?) is likely less than most households pay in late fees at the library. Kaplan was incorrect that a shorter term would save the library money, but that doesn’t make Surovell’s case stronger.

That said, property values are still inflated. The board was wise to postpone as long as it has. Let’s get by with what we have for yet a few more years and let things bottom out before committing to any new construction and more long-term debt. (I also doubt that bonds issued early next year would get 5%–unless the rating dropped between now and then.)

By: Mary Morgan Mary Morgan Tue, 24 Jul 2012 17:43:07 +0000 Re. “the three new buildings were built without bonds, that is, with existing funds.”

Three new branch libraries – Malletts Creek, Pittsfield and Traverwood – were funded with a total of $24 million in revenues generated from the existing operating millage. To do that, the board raised its millage to 1.92 mills – the highest amount that AADL is authorized by voters to levy. [The original millage approved by voters in 1996, when the library spun off from the public school system, was actually 2.0 mills. That amount has gradually been rolled back due to the Headlee Amendment, which was passed by the state legislature and was intended to offset property assessment increases.]

When those three branches were completed, the AADL board dropped the amount that it levies to 1.55 mills, starting in July of 2009. That is the current amount that taxpayers pay to the AADL. The millage rate is set annually – and therefore, could change – as part of the AADL budget process. Budgets are typically approved in May, for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

By: Nelson Nelson Tue, 24 Jul 2012 17:02:42 +0000 IIRC, the three new buildings were built without bonds, that is, with existing funds. So AADL neglected its central location to give priority to building new buildings. That can only be explained two ways. The AADL being incompetent, or purposefully allowing the central location to go into disrepair to create this need for a new building.

By: Scratchigmyhead Scratchigmyhead Tue, 24 Jul 2012 11:35:25 +0000 I still have net been convinced that the construction of a new library is needed. It seems that the Library Board in developing their survey really clouded the issues by giving responding the option of renovation or new construction at the 65 million dollar option. Of course given the two options with the same cost responders are going to support something new. I think this was very deceptive by the board. To use the argument about the need to have a “raked auditorium.” What’s the need for a raked auditorium? As for the argument that the downtown library will serve as a meeting place, with the cost of parking, I’m not sure that I would be tempted to attend meetings at the downtown library. As for the argument that the library can serve as as catalyst for other developments downtown I’m being assessed a millage and then I got to pay to attend a meeting at the Library! How do the staff calculate the 600,000 annual patrons? Are these figures based on singular visits or are they based on multi-counts. Many of the daily patrons are from the shelter, which is ok with me but I think this figure may not be an accurate one for the argument the board is trying to make. From what I read so far, I’m not convinced that a new library is needed. That library probably be underutilized within five years of the completion of its construction and the library board and community will be left trying to figure out how to make it a relevant part of Ann Arbor.

By: Eric Eric Mon, 23 Jul 2012 17:32:29 +0000 The people who want to squander the tax payers money on this white elephant say they need space for meetings. By the time it gets built physical gatherings to keep the minutes and lose the hours will probably be as passe as paper books. Haven’t they heard about video conferencing — virtual reality — conference calls? Vastly cheaper and more convenient. Plug in your web camera and do the “meeting” while cruising down the freeway, “meeting” with one hand, cell phone in the other, hopefully Google will be doing the driving. As the software improves you will be able to tweak your presented image a bit, look less old and fat and still alert while dozing off. Do the “meeting” while on the toilet, poop in, poop out.