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Renovation and Addition: Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ answers pertain to the design and estimate by SMP Architecture in June 2023.

 

COST

SIZE

USAGE

COST

How much will it cost?
 

$5.3 million

Will taxpayers have to pay for the construction?
 

We are hopeful that construction will be funded by private donors.

How will you raise that money?
 

We are currently seeking a capital fundraising campaign consultant. Contact us, if you are interested in helping.

Has this project been finalized and approved?
 

No, it’s still in the design phase. Is there something about the current design you'd like to add or change? Let us know.

Will it be energy efficient?
 

Yes. It will have the infrastructure for solar panels, forced air heating, fiberglass windows, and other modern energy saving features.

 

How much will the library have to increase its yearly budget for…

 

...heat and electricity?
 

Less than $5,000 (probably).


At this time, it’s difficult to predict. Older portions of the current building are quite below modern standards. For example, the Paige Room (south side), is 100 years old and lacks insulation. Therefore, a budget covering a newer section would nowhere near double. In 2022, the library spent about $7,000 in energy. Therefore, even if the cost DID double to $14,000, it would still be less than 5% of the library’s current $285,119 total budget.

...books and other materials?
 

$0

 

Right now, we purchase about 1,500 new materials per year. That’s sufficient for a larger space, and we’ll be able to hold on to more of the older books too.

...staffing?
 

$0

 

Ideally, we would have 3 to 4 employees in the building at all times. Our current staffing schedule covers 169 hours per week. We are open 45 hours per week. 169/45 = 3.75 persons.

SIZE

How large?
 

It will double the current library’s indoor square footage, adding 6,097 sq ft to the current 5,900 sq ft, for a total of 11,997 sq ft.

How does the current library size compare to other libraries?
 

While Weare is the 33rd largest town in the state by population, its library is 78th in square footage.

 

How about the proposed community room?
 

The new 950 sq ft community room is an ideal multi-purpose setting for town gatherings and functions. A new kitchen will facilitate events with food and drink. It’ll be accessible to the public, even when the library is not open. The folding panel partition will allow for two smaller meetings at the same time.


How close will it be to the Stone Memorial Building?
 

12.5 feet, at the narrowest.

How much lawn (“green” space) will we lose?
 

4,097 square feet (9% of the total lot)


The total area of the property = 45,962 sf (1.05 Acres). Existing Stone Memorial building footprint = 1,358 sf. Existing library Footprint = 3,000 sf. This yields a total current open space of 41,334 sf or 90.5% of the total lot. When expansion is complete, that total open space goes down to 37,237 sf or 81.5% of the total lot.

Will loosing “green” space impact town events?
 

No, in the last three years, the only non-library function that occupied the space in question was a tent for the Pine Tree Riot 250th Anniversary. The remaining 37,000 sf (81%) of the open space that remains should be sufficient to cover any event of similar size.

How will this affect parking?
 

We won’t lose any spaces, but we could use more.


Our current parking space is sufficient during most hours. There is, however, a need for additional parking during large meetings and events – especially when they coincide with functions at the Legion building. While it’s not ideal, the Middle School parking lot can cover for overflow. Any additional spaces will have to be worked out with the town government.

 

Will all areas be ADA accessible?
 

Yes

 

USAGE

People today more frequently using technology and reading stuff online. Does anyone still use the library?

While the Weare Library does offers thousands of free e-books and e-audiobooks through the Libby app, it can be argued that the average American spends too much time on screens and not enough time interacting with his or her community – making those real world connections – face to face. That’s why, now more than ever, we need libraries.

We are the ideal community space for meetings, presentations, storytimes, study groups, workshops, exhibitions, parties, and informal gatherings with families and friends. Regardless of the weather, we provide those quality analog experiences.

Due to our adjacency to the Middle School, we are a resource for children and teens, as they frequently visit with classes, afterschool, before sports practices, and during seasonal breaks.

We are a destination - drawing visitors to our town center and its businesses.

And, we also have over 22,000 physical materials: Books, audiobooks, DVDs, games, science kits, etc., which are checked-out by the thousands. Defying predictions of some 21st Century “futurists,” the use of physical media has not significantly declined.

 

In 2022, the Weare Library…
 

Circulated 40,042 materials (A 15% increase over 2021.)
 

New Cards Issued: 190 (Total Card Holders: 5,366)
 

Program Attendance: 3,152 (a 74% increase over 2021)
 

Visits: 20,018

What if it brings increases in library foot traffic and program attendance?
 

What a great problem! But even right now, we are already seeing higher volumes. Judging by the rates we’ve seen in 2023, by years end, the above attendance stats should go up 30% to 50%. Yep, we need a bigger library.

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