By Matt Leader firstname.lastname@example.org
Measuring in at around 2,400 square feet, Livonia’s current library has the second smallest square footage in Livingston County, but the second highest circulation.
“Geneseo is a little larger by a couple of thousand,” said Livonia’s library director Frank Sykes. “We hover around 90,000 materials that circulate out of this little library every year. We have nearly 5,000 patrons in a chartered area of … about 8,000 people. So we’re bursting at the seams.”
With such heavy use and such small facilities, Livonia’s library is past due for a bump up in square footage.
On Aug. 7, after a special meeting of Livonia’s town board and on the recommendation of the library’s building committee, supervisor Eric Gott signed a contract with Passero Associates, a Rochester-based architecture firm, to draw up initial plans for a library expansion. The building committee includes members of the library’s board of trustees, the town board and community members.
Though definite plans for the expansion remain in the early stages, Sykes said a new children’s area and room for expanded computer resources would be at the top of his list.
The $135,000 cost of the contract will come from a special reserve fund first started 16 years ago for just such a purpose, said Gott.
“We sent out a request for proposal to different firms and got 11 that were interested,” Sykes said. “We set up a questionnaire and a rubric. We went about it very methodically.”
Passero Associates were ultimately selected, said Sykes, because of its “ability to produce a product on time and on budget.”
In addition to a new children’s area and more room for computer access, Sykes outlined what he, the library’s board of trustees and, he believes, the residents of Livonia would want to see in the new expansion.
“With a lot of our programs, especially over the summer, we’re pulling over 200 people for some of the performers,” said Sykes. “So we’d also like to include a (meeting) space to accommodate a lot more than we can now.”
Sykes also envisions a teen area, likewise with new computers and laptops.
In addition to the expansion, the plan would also include renovations to the Library’s current building, which was constructed in 1926, and a parking lot so visitors don’t have to park on the street.
Construction is slated to begin in spring 2015. Before then, Sykes said there will multiple opportunities for members of the public to offer input on the project.
“This is a community library,” said Sykes. “So everything we do here, we want to have their input on the library. That’s been a part of the process from early on.”
Once construction begins, Sykes estimated that it would take about 12 months.
Due to the fact that the plans for the expansion are not yet final, Gott said there is not an estimate of the total cost for the project. After paying for the architecture plans however, Gott said the town’s library reserve fund will likely be exhausted. Nevertheless, he pledged that the costs associated with the actual construction of the expansion would not result in an increased tax burden on town residents.
“We’ll bond it and make the payments and they’ll be no increase to the tax rate that way,” he said.
Sunday, September 14, 2014