Woodstock Library Building Committee Chair Jill Fisher urged the board of trustees to come up with potential donors to the capital campaign as fundraising begins in earnest for the board’s planned multi-million dollar new building. Tim Moore, who is on the capital campaign committee, said at the November 21 board meeting it is important for trustees to get involved.
At a private event in October, an anonymous donor offered a $150,000 matching grant and any donations will count toward the match and can be used to pay for planning and architecture services. However, the $150,000 can only be used toward construction.
Trustees have opted for a 12,000-square-foot structure to replace the existing building at an estimated $4.4 million cost. It has a $584,000 contract for architect Stephen Tilly’s services in which he is paid for work on each phase of the project. Both the library and Tilly agreed on pauses totaling six months if necessary to raise money, which, when the pauses end, will come to $32,000 per month. “We need to be out there amongst them (the potential donors),” Fisher said. “Every penny, every dime helps.”
She said trustees should jump in and be a part of the many end-of-year appeals from nonprofit groups for donations.
To spur more contributions, the Friends of the Library will hold a holiday party December 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions, 114 Mill Hill Road. Admission is free, though attendees are encouraged to donate to the capital fund.
The next big phase of construction planning through Tilly’s firm, design development cannot begin until the library has enough funding.
The capital fund started with $125,000 in transfers from prior year budget surpluses and to date, the library has collected $47,724 in donations. After expenses, including fees paid to Tilly and to Construction Manager Agent JC Alten, the fund has $62,337.
“Until we have a little more money in the account we cannot get Tilly started,” Fisher said.
The six-month pause in the Tilly contract ends in February.
Alten reported to the Building Committee recently he can keep the building to its stated $4.4 million budget, mainly by reducing it to 12,000 square feet. Tilly’s schematic design calls for 13,400 square feet at a $6.9 million cost.
Alten said he expects to get the new building constructed for $358 per square foot, which would be in line with the budget.
Front entrance railing not ADA compliant
Marty Nystrom and library handyman Roger Lazoff recently completed improved handrails along the entrance ramp in front of the library. However, Gilles Malkine of the Resource Center for Accessible Living reports the improvements do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Fisher said she communicated to Malkine that it was a matter of prioritizing spending on a building that will be replaced while completing what improvements they could.
“When we got a quote to improve accessibility to the front of the building it was $10,000,” she said.
Director Kerr returns
Library director Jessica Kerr has returned from medical leave and has been working part-time since November 18.
“The staff has done a wonderful job of keeping things in line,” said Kerr, who is getting back up to speed. She has been working on renewing staff health insurance benefits and coordinating with staff and Alten to adjust programming for the new building based on the 12,000-square foot size.
Kerr said she will sometimes work at home as she continues to recover.