The need for a new/expanded library in Cambridge has been a vision for many for more than a decade.
Over 100 people attended the annual Friends of the Cambridge Community Li-brary annual meeting for the proposed Cambridge Commu-nity Library Design presentation on Thursday, Jan. 17.
The meeting was held in the lower level of the Amundson Center in the Village of Cambridge and began at 6 p.m. with a potluck supper.
Friends of the Cambridge Library president, Sharon Erb began the presentation with opening remarks and introductions regarding the library project and the organizations involved. She then gave the floor to Bob Salov, chair of the Library Capital Gains Com-mittee.
The Library Capital Campaign Committee (LCCC) is an ad hoc committee of the Cambridge Community Li-brary Board and oversees the raising of funds and marketing for the new library project.
Salov gave a brief overview on the last 10 years of fundraising efforts and project goals.
Salov explained that $612,000 has been accumulated from fundraising efforts and the liquidation of library property at the Cam-Rock trail head due to flood plain designation.
Salov shared his hope that the funding for the project will be realized in the next couple of months.
“We’re so serious about this,” said Salov.
He went on to say that a total $1.8 million was needed for the new library. Funds were being solicited from nearby communities that would benefit from the new facility as municipal partners, based on a quantitative proportion from circulation count.
Salov explained that the budget was broken down into thirds: one-third from the Library Board and the Friends of the Library, one-third from municipalities, and one-third from petition to the Cambridge Foundation.
The breakdown of requested funding from the municipalities, or the municipal partners includes: Village of Cambridge - $400,000; Village of Rockdale- $10,000; Town of Oakland- $110,000; Town of Deerfield - $10,000; Town of Christiana- $54,000, and Town of Lake Mills $16,000.
As of last week, the Town of Deerfield, Christiana and Rock-dale have finalized fiscal commitment to the project by unanimous vote.
Oakland, the Village of Cambridge and Lake Mills have future hearing dates to address action concerning funding commitment. The Village of Cambridge postponed the previously scheduled Jan. 22 hearing to confirm funding until sometime in February.
Salov introduced the keynote speaker, Val Schute of river ARCHITECTS.
Schute has been involved with several library build/ex-pansion projects and has been working with the proposed Cambridge library expansion efforts for the past 10 years.
“We are beyond the beginning, but still early on, on this trip,” said Schute. “There are usually bumps in the road in the beginning.”
He went on to say that the process to achieve a new library relies on committee work.
“Promote collaboration by involving people in the process,” Schute encouraged. “If people are involved in the process, they are stakeholders,” he told the audience.
Schute began his Power Point presentation with a discussion on general library design issues and the evolution of the public library due to changing community needs and advancements in technology.
He explained how these changes have created a new model for libraries and how they are used. His presentation showed how the proposed design of the Cambridge Community Library expansion addresses these issues and embraces the future model by comparing the 1990 model of libraries as collection (book repository) and research centers to the modern model which serves as a municipal community center.
By offering a wider collaborative use of amenities that includes digital reference material, culled and controlled book collections, 48-hour access to materials through the inter-library system, expanded seating, meeting rooms, study rooms, more computers, and connecting the library to campuses through distance learning, libraries have become a place where conversation is encouraged, activities are offered and technology is available to the public.
In essence, the “new age” library has become a multi-use municipal community center.
He went on to describe the space of the proposed library as being a building that speaks to future generations by incorporating sustainability through harvesting natural light, energy conservation, area zone designation for different age groups and usage, and a look to the future with flexibility designed for adaptability, expansion, and future technology.
The current proposed library design builds on the existing library, saving considerable square footage and therefore funds, by utilizing shared space.
The existing library is currently 2,121 square feet. A stand-alone library design would require 8,400 square feet, but the new scheme of the connected model presented comes in at 6,800 square feet.
The shared facility/expansion saves 1,269 square feet of construction from the 2004 proposed program, and reduces the square footage of a proposed stand-alone model by 1,600 square feet.
“The design has a prairie school influence and provides interesting opportunity,” said Schute.
Although the library could be bigger, Schute illustrated how collaboration with the existing double elevation structure offers interesting opportunities and can support unique features such as a drive-by book drop and transaction window, and a 2,000-square-foot community center with meeting rooms, kitchen and attached restrooms.
He went on to describe the new library space as having natural light through a cupola or similar structure, wide open foyer, central circulation desk with open sightlines to library zones, a fireplace and an efficient and flexible design for future expansion.
Schute explained variables involved in decision-making affects financials. The current concept has a budget projection of $185 per square foot and includes a 10 percent contingency in today’s market.
After Schute’s presentation, the floor was opened to a question-and-answer session. Several questions regarding building approaches, contract assignments, bidding, LEED certification, heating and other concerns regarding building/ construction were discussed.
For those wishing to donate funds or wanting more information regarding the library project, contact the library or one of the many people involved on the committees to make the new library a reality.
Cambridge Community Library Board of Trustees
•President: Dave Wilcox, rural Dane County representative;
•Vice president: Sandi Szafranski, rural Jefferson County representative;
•Secretary: Mary Jane Mihajlovic, Village of Cambridge representative;
•Treasurer: Patty Strohbusch, rural Jefferson County representative;
•Mary Gjermo, Village of Cambridge representative;
•Scott Waller, Cambridge Village Board representative;
•Cora Yenser, School District of Cambridge representative
Cambridge Community Library Capital Campaign Committee is an ad hoc Committee of the Cambridge Community Library Board
•Chairperson: Bob Salov, community representative; •Vice chairperson: Mary Gjermo, Library Board rep-resentative;
•Secretary: Sharon Erb, Friends of the Library representative;
•Patty Strohbusch, Library Board treasurer;
•George Coulter, Commun-ity representative;
•Kathy Grunwald, Friends of the Library representative;
•Jeff Leoni, Cambridge Village Board representative;
•Dean Lund, community representative;
•Neil Shively, community representative;
•Brian Soper, community representative;
•Cora Yenser, Library Board representative;
•Sandi Szafranski, Library Board (alternate)
Ex Officio members include:
Joan Behm, library director; Shellie Benish, Village of Cambridge administrator; and Linda Korth, Village Economic Development coordinator.