The Woostock Library Facilities Task Force has released its preliminary conclusions calling for “improving the existing Library building and correcting its deficiencies” as a “priority of any expansion project.” The Library Board of Trustees should “reconsider its current Streamside Annex plan” and should, instead, “create a new campus-wide master plan to expand and improve our Library.”
Among its seven state conclusions, the board included that “a large, two story addition to the north side of the existing Library (the current site of the Book Barn) will prove to be the most cost-effective expansion approach,” and that no building take place on the Streamside parcel while the expansion of the current building is taking place.
The Task Force will hold at public meeting to discuss its preliminary conclusions at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 2 at the Woodstock Town Offices at the Comeau property.
The Streamside Annex plan has caused great controversy in the town. The proposed $1.6-million annex across the street from the library on the site of the former Woodstock Laundromat was based on a design by Joel Sanders Architect that included a 2050 square feet of space on an 1800-square-foot footprint at the site of the former Woodstock Laundromat across Library Lane.
The twelve members of the Task Force (Stuart Auchincloss, Maria DeFranco, Elaine Hammond, Eliza Kunkel, Joe Mangan, Barry Miller, Tim Moore, Martin Nystrom, Amy Raff, Esther Ratner, Sean Ritchey and Jerry Washington) have been meeting weekly since July, and, according to Library Board president and Task Force co-chair Stuart Auchincloss, “In that time we have looked at the question from many angles. I am pleased with the broad support our Library is receiving.”
In a release, the Task Force stated that its “conclusions are preliminary and are presented now for public feedback. They will be refined and expanded upon in our final report to the Library Board.”
The release listed the preliminary conclusions:
- All projects and improvements should conform to a master site plan for the Library campus to be devised by an architect or architectural team with substantial library experience in conjunction with the Library.
- The Library needs more space…probably around 6,000 square feet.
- Improving the existing Library building and correcting its deficiencies should be a priority of any expansion project.
- The Library has a site-constrained campus with limited areas available for expansion. Any additions or new buildings should make the most efficient use of the available land and strive to be both architecturally inspirational and fiscally responsible.
- We believe that a large, two story addition to the north side of the existing Library (the current site of the Book Barn) will prove to be the most cost-effective expansion approach. Such a building will provide the Library with most or all of the necessary additional space to meet its immediate and long-term goals.
- The Stream Site (6 Library Lane) is a valuable addition to the Library campus and a challenging but buildable site. We recommend that no permanent structure be erected upon it while the expansion referred to above is underway.
- The Library Green is a treasured public ‘green space’ that should be preserved.
The board also said that it recognizes that borrowing the funds for the expansion through a bond issue, subject to approval by Woodstock voters, will likely be necessary.
The FTF Preliminary Conclusions are available on the Library web site (ulsterpub.staging.wpengine.org/ftf).