Library renovations

Tue, 11/23/2021 - 6:00pm

The Island Free Library Board of Trustees continued its discussion of the ongoing renovations at the library, with input from new Facilities Manager, Tom Risom, on
November 16. The library is undergoing a major renovation to the building as all the windows are being replaced, the HVAC system upgraded, some painting and carpet replacement. Budget constraints have led to a scaling back of the project, however.

Risom reported that he had met with Lucas Silva, who is contracted to perform the work and has already completed his portion of phase one of the project. In phase one, eight windows were replaced by Silva, along with the accompanying shingling and interior work, at a cost of $48,696.

Phase two involves replacing the remaining 44 windows in the building. Silva’s original proposal was to replace the windows, re-shingle the entire building, and replace all the exterior and interior trim. The price tag for this proposal is $242,000.

Risom informed the board that after examining the building, receiving input from outside contractors, and meeting with Silva, they had come together with a new proposal for phase two: replace the 44 windows, shingle only around the replaced windows, replace the trim only around the windows, and replace the interior trim. Risom said he and Silva believe the project can be completed for $150,000 or less.

While it is not ideal to piece together the shingling in this way, Risom told the board it would be acceptable given the condition of the existing shingles. “One contractor told me the shingles still have ten years [of life] left,” he said.
The board agreed with the assessment, particularly since $150,000 is the amount of money that is available. The board has available funding of $199,000 for the renovations, including a grant from the Champlin Foundation of $79,000 and money earmarked for the project from the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Capital budgets. But there is $48,696 owed for phase one of the renovations, leaving a little over $150,000 to complete the project. Library Director Kristin Baumann told the board that she and clerk Heidi Tarbox had gotten the library’s capital budget request for additional funding in to the town manager. Those funds, however, would not be authorized until the Financial Town Meeting in May, and would not be available until July 1, 2022.
Risom told the group that the scaled-back plan reduced the number of shingles from “40 squares to six.” A “square” will cover 100 square feet of area. Risom pointed out that the labor part of the calculation was still high, as “lacing corners is the hardest part.” Lacing corners works by overlapping the edges of successive shingle courses to make the corner weather-tight. The alternative is to use trim boards on the corners, but a change of that type at this point would necessitate a trip to the Historic District Commission to get permission. Risom also pointed out it would change the exterior appearance of the building, and would not really be “helpful”
from a “procedural” standpoint.

In the end, the board voted to have Risom move forward with ordering the windows and shingles, although with reported supply chain issues the timetable for their
arrival is uncertain.
The HVAC is in need of upgrading as the machines have reached the end of their 20-year lifespan. Currently, one of the five HVAC “zones” is in need of replacement.
The library’s HVAC system is divided into five zones, one on the top floor, two on the main floor, and two in the basement. One of the zones on the main floor is out, but Baumann said it would be “reasonable to replace” all the zones, as all the equipment is 20 years old. Chair Lisa Nolan suggested replacing one or two zones a year, with Baumann saying she would like to replace the zones on each floor at the same time as each other. There is also painting and carpeting to be done on the top floor of the library, which was not included in the scope of work for phase one of the project.