Sunapee Library Supporters Respond to Anonymous Mailer

In response to an anonymous mailer that many Sunapee residents received this week, the chairman of the Abbott Library Building Committee has issued this statement.

To the Residents of Sunapee:

A mailer was recently delivered to Sunapee residents, asking residents not to support the concept of creating a new Library by renovating the Old Town Hall. The mailer does not identify its source or fiscal agent, as is customary. The mailer includes several incorrect “facts” and provides some incomplete information, both a disservice to the residents of Sunapee. Please consider:

  • Roger Landry, Town Zoning Administrator, has confirmed that the Old Town Hall property is NOT in the flood plain.
  • The concept plan calls for an increased setback from Main Street, enlarging the entryway and sidewalk in front of the building.
  • Renovating the Old Town Hall as a library is feasible, cost effective, and will create ample space for a library. The concept plan provides for reinforcement of the building’s structure, removal and replacement of the building structure below the Main Street level, and new wings on the east (old police station) and north side of the building. At the Main Street level and above, the building structure and interior paneling will remain, while roofing, siding and windows will be replaced. The clock tower and horse ramp, character defining historic features of the building, will be preserved.
  • In 2007, the Building Committee of the Library Trustees conducted an exhaustive, fact-based survey of fifteen possible sites for Sunapee’s new library. In a blind scoring system, sites were ranked and from this process, the harbor site adjacent to the Old Town Hall was found to be the best available location. Combining this approved site and the adjacent site, and including the usable portions of the Old Town Hall, is a logical improvement to the site concept, as it provides ample building space, 31 parking spaces, more green space and a historic reference that can help Sunapee’s new library become so much more.
  • Cost to finish the lowest level is not included in the conceptual project cost estimate because its public use is yet to be determined.
  • The Harbor Riverway site is 0.9 acres in size. The combined Harbor Riverway – Old Town Hall site is 1.4 acres in size. Up to $200,000 of the total $400,000 land purchase price may be gifted by Riverway stockholders. The concept plan locates a portion of the proposed building addition on the Riverway lot. Ways of controlling non-library use of the parking lot have been discussed. However, peak weekend parking demand primarily occurs when the library is closed.
  • A conceptual design and cost estimate are the first steps in any building design process. As a design progresses, estimates are refined. It is not unusual for public projects to establish and hold to project costs early in the design process. Like the concept plan, the 2006 Charrette planning was also a volunteer effort. However, the concept plan estimate is based on substantially more detailed information than was available to construction estimators at the Charrette, who provided a “ball park” estimate.
  • The mailer does not list Article 23 in its entirety. It omits the last sentence, which describes Article 23 as advisory only, and that it’s placement on the warrant is supported by the Library Board of Trustees, Old Town Hall Committee, and Board of Selectmen.

To learn more about the Sunapee Library- Old Town Hall concept plan, visit www.abbottlibrary.org.

Thank you for your consideration.

Barbara Chalmers Chair, Abbott Library Building Committee

One Response

  1. I think the whole thing is a personal issue with the trustees, They want the new library in the harbor. In my opinion it does not belong there. There was plenty of opportunity in the town when land was being donated by Mr. Alexander, but it was said that that was not a good place because it was in a flood plan and it would have to be multiple stories, First I have never seen it flood there and every building that has been designed has been multiple stories I think the trustees shot them selves in the foot on that one. Putting that kind of money in reconstruction is insane when new construction would be cheaper and we would have a building that would not have the up keep a old building would have. I think we need to regroup and come up with a place that fits everyone’s needs not just the people around the lake that are pushing for the harbor…. Something to think about.

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