Sticker shock is inevitable when we buy something large for the first time in twenty years: a car, a house, or a year of college tuition. We believe these costs are justified.
First, the numbers are not inflated. This project meets the documented uses and needs that were studied and reported in the Building Program, a detailed analysis required by the Commissioners, and reviewed by them for accuracy. Also, the rules required us to pay for a professional cost estimate of the project as drawn, with a three-year cost-escalation, which is where the numbers came from. We did not guess at any of these numbers.
Second, the program rules require a proposal that will serve the town for at least twenty years. Though no one can say exactly how Library uses will change in that time, we were required to plug in state projections of population growth, to be sure that we not outgrow the building prematurely.
Third, the Trustees have committed to a $1.1 million capital fund campaign (which we are confident we can achieve), and the Commissioners have also offered us a $320,000 LEED grant, if we reach (as we will) certain standards of energy efficiency. These two amounts, combined with the $9.2 million state grant, would reduce the town share of the project to $15,671,145. We believe this is a fair price for a great Library.