presented by the
Board of Library Trustees
Annual Town Meeting, April 2, 2017
What does this article do?
This article asks voters to finalize the Town’s application for a state grant to help build a new library at 195 Main Street, the site of the former Highway Department garage, near Wayland Middle School.
It is NOT a vote on whether to build that library. It is a vote on whether to submit an application that makes the Town eligible to receive state funding if the voters LATER decide to build a new library.
Why do we need a new library?
For over a decade, Wayland residents and the Board of
Library Trustees (the Trustees) have sought to expand the library to address overcrowding, undersized collections, insuficient meeting and study space, trafic and parking challenges, flooding, and other longstanding problems at the current location. In fact, a new library has been in the Town’s capital budget since 2005.
Why apply for a grant now?
Because now there is an opportunity to receive substantial state funding for a larger library. In 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bond bill authorizing $150 million in grant funding through the
Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. The grant would cover approximately 40 percent of eligible construction costs for a larger or new library building. This is the first such grant offered in more than six years.
Has the application already been submitted?
Yes. The deadline for submission of the application was January 26, 2017, and the Trustees submitted it on January 24.
Why do we need to authorize the application if it has already been submitted?
The state requires that the application be authorized by the Town as a condition for reviewing it. In many towns, this authorization takes place before the application is submitted. However, because of the timing of our Town Meetings, the application could not be brought to Town Meeting before the application deadline in January 2017. The state allows towns to hold the authorization vote after the application deadline and before June 2017. This is the final step in the application process, and it is required.
What exactly do we need to do?
The article asks Town Meeting voters:
To accept a preliminary design for a new library building at 195 Main Street; and
To authorize the Town to “apply for, receive, and expend” state funds for a library building project.
The receipt and expenditure of funds would occur only IF a grant is awarded and IF the Town later decides to go forward with such a project.
What is a preliminary design?
A preliminary design is an initial design concept for a library. The state requires preliminary designs from all towns applying for a library construction grant. The purpose of the preliminary design is to demonstrate that the Town’s library building program (its space needs, including parking) can fit on the proposed site.
The preliminary design for a new Wayland library was developed over the last year by Tappé Architects of Boston as part of the Town’s Library Planning and Design Study, which the voters authorized at Town Meeting in November 2015. It was approved by the Board of Library Trustees and the Library Planning Committee. You can see the preliminary design on the Library website.
Will the Wayland community have an opportunity to review the final design?
Yes. If a grant is awarded to the Town and subsequent town funding is approved, a final design would be developed with input from the Wayland community.
Why do we need to “accept and expend” state funds if a grant hasn’t been awarded yet?
The state acknowledges that this language is confusing, especially since no state grant funds can be transferred to the Town unless the Town later authorizes its own funding for the project. Nevertheless, this is the language all towns must have in their Town Meeting articles. It authorizes the Town to receive and spend any money awarded.
Is this a request for funding?
No. This article DOES NOT appropriate any Town funds for a library building project, and it has no impact on your tax bill. In fact, a library building project can ONLY go forward after a SEPARATE appropriation of Town funds by a vote at a later Town Meeting.
When would a request for funding occur?
If Wayland receives a state grant in July 2017, the Trustees would then come to Town Meeting seeking an appropriation of town funds for the building project. That vote would likely occur in April 2018. If Wayland’s project is wait-listed, Trustees would have to wait to seek Town funds until after a grant is awarded, at a later date.
When could we have a new library?
The time from grant award to building opening is usually about four years.
Why can’t we expand on the current site, at 5 Concord Road?
We looked into that. In fact, as part of the Library Planning and Design Study, we looked at three Town-owned sites for expansion of the Library. In the course of that study, architects and engineers
determined that, because the current library is on a very small parcel (1.02 acres) in Wayland’s Aquifer Protection District, an increase in the size of the building and in the amount of parking available for patrons was not possible there.
What would a new library near the middle school look like?
The preliminary design calls for a two-story facility of 33,530 square feet with a separate children’s wing, a dedicated space for teens and young adults, a meeting room with 100-seat capacity, several small conference rooms, increased seating throughout the library, increased shelving for collections, improved computer and Internet access, and increased working spaces for staff. It also includes adequate parking for patrons and staff.
How was the size determined?
The proposed size is based on Wayland’s Library Building Program, a statement of space needs developed using national and state library standards. The proposed library is commensurate in size with neighboring town libraries and other libraries in towns our size. The design added more space to accommodate an expected increase in usage from Middle School students. It also includes room for future expansion, as required by the state.
What is the estimated cost of the new Library?
The estimated cost of the project described in the grant application is $24,771,287. When the customary three years of escalation costs are added, the projected cost totals $29,167,117. That figure includes certain costs properly charged to the Town but subsumed under the grant for the purpose of state reimbursement (e.g., for demolition of the two buildings at the former Highway Department garage site). Of the projected $29 million in costs, there would be a cost to the Town of between approximately $18.5 million and $19.2 million, and the state grant would cover between $10 million and $10.5 million.
What happens if I vote yes? If I vote no?
If the article is approved at Town Meeting, Wayland’s grant application will be complete, and the state will review it this spring.
If voters do not approve the article, the state will remove the Town’s application from consideration, and state funds will go to some other town(s).