New Canaan is lucky to have such an engaged inhabitants and so many individuals who care about our metropolis. We’re additionally lucky to have a number of sources of data and public boards the place individuals can categorical their opinions. Our metropolis is stuffed with sensible individuals and so they present that we will have a civil dialogue regardless of differing emotions on the identical challenge. Actually, within the case of the New Canaan Library Development Venture which begins its land use approval course of, there’s elevated curiosity within the mission and the sharing of opinions. I’m involved that with so many concepts being debated, we’re dropping our concentrate on the principle points. The aim of this letter is to assist make clear the problems all of us agree on, the problems we don’t agree on, and to supply the Constructing Committee’s perspective on how we now have arrived on the plan which can be submitted to the town for approval.
I’m honored to serve on the New Canaan Library Board of Trustees and in addition proud to be the Chairman of the New Canaan Library Constructing Committee. The library is the guts of our group. We’re lucky to have such a devoted library employees who present us with unbelievable service, data and applications. Because the 1979 renovation, the position of the library has modified considerably from a spot of testing books to a spot the place individuals come collectively looking for data, information and group by all varieties. expertise, media and programming. Immediately’s library is extra of a group heart than a easy assortment of books. We now have all had the expertise of stepping out of the library and being grateful to have one that gives so many providers to our metropolis.
By way of all of the exchanges of opinions on the Library, I believe there is a pretty big consensus. There’s clearly a necessity for a brand new library constructing on the town and our present facility has handed its helpful life to satisfy our present wants as a group library. I additionally assume the overwhelming majority of residents agree that the town ought to contribute $ 10 million to this effort, with non-public donations making up the stability. So far as I do know, this appears to be widespread floor.
There’s a divisive query and that’s what will occur to the 1913 library constructing. Does it keep the place it’s on property owned by the New Canaan library and is it restored and reused? Is it moved to a brand new location on metropolis property, placed on a brand new basis, renovated and used for an additional objective? Or is it demolished through the closing section of the mission to make manner for a park that can serve further makes use of for the brand new constructing. There are loads of methods on the right way to block the 1913 constructing demolition by making the most of points like parking or constructing measurement, however these are simply hijackings. The query to be determined is what to do with the 1913 constructing and who would bear the brunt of the prices for every choice outlined above.
For greater than three years, the constructing committee has met steadily to develop all aspects of the plan for the brand new library constructing and surrounding grounds. The volunteers and professionals concerned within the planning course of are sensible, skilled, versatile, caring and caring. There’s a line of assault from some individuals who wish to maintain the 1913 constructing in place that any change in measurement, funds or parking associated to the brand new mission is a method to deceive the general public. I can assure that there’s a lot of thought main as much as every of those adjustments and that’s typical of any pre-build course of.
When numerous variations of the plans are made public, it’s actually essential to remember that this can be a strategy of building and design. It might be nice to give you a schematic plan, work out a funds, and construct that actual plan for that worth. As the general public of New Canaan skilled, a constructing course of is rather more sophisticated and dynamic than that. As plans develop and grow to be extra particular, prices grow to be extra particular. Because the funds turns into safer, the
The constructing committee ought to prioritize crucial components of the mission, carry out a cost-benefit evaluation and assess any new data that comes alongside.
There are two principal adjustments from the unique schematic plan and the present plan that can be offered for approval. We now have diminished the constructing footprint and deserted the concept of underground parking. Because the plans have been developed it grew to become clear that the fee estimates have been going to exceed what we may afford, so we went by a worth engineering course of and reconsidered our priorities and choices. to economize.
It was determined that we may cut back the realm of the usable a part of the constructing by being extra environment friendly and deciding that we may do with no little area. As soon as the footprint of the above-ground portion of the constructing was diminished, so too was the inspiration the place the underground automobile park was to be positioned. On the identical time, our site visitors guide knowledgeable us that every facet of the library block is extraordinarily busy and it would not work nicely to have an entrance and exit on South, Cherry or Principal. And an entrance and exit alongside the entrance facade of the constructing on Maple Road wouldn’t work. Moreover, with a now smaller basis and the willpower that two ramps can be wanted within the underground storage for entry and exit, it grew to become obvious that an costly underground storage that might accommodate 40 vehicles was neither sensible nor possible. .
Happily, the library is adjoining to the college car parking zone within the heart. It gives a chic resolution. Whereas I am nonetheless in favor of including metropolis parking, the truth is that the placement of the car parking zone is extraordinarily essential… individuals need to have the ability to park near the place they’re going. For that reason, it makes loads of sense to make use of the Heart’s college car parking zone for the car parking zone of library customers, for the reason that library is shut and the town and the prepare usually are not. As a lifelong New Canaan resident, I’ve noticed many efforts through the years to attempt to make metropolis and prepare parking extra enticing at Heart College, however there have at all times been many areas. open. It is sensible for the town to work with the library on this resolution.
I intend that by clarifying the constructing committee’s reasoning behind decreasing the sq. footage and eliminating an underground storage that would not work, it would refocus the dialogue across the mission to the proper areas. We want a brand new library constructing and the town ought to assist. The brand new New Canaan Library can be an important addition to our metropolis.
Sincerely, Ian Hobbs