Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2007 Library Bond - I: How Big?

This is part one of an analysis of the June 19, City Council Meeting which decided to put on the ballot the measure to raise $108,000,000 ($108M) for a new library.  This considers the size of the library that was approved.  The meeting minutes are almost transcriptions.  The bottom of this post has readable copies of the minutes and how to get a PDF or video copy.

It is clear from the minutes that the 143,500 sq. ft. library was preferred but they did not believe the public would support the cost so a 116,000 sq.ft. library was voted for with expansion possible if more money could be obtained.  A 144K sq.ft. library is huge.
144,000 sq. ft. library
Even a 116,000 sq.ft. library is very, very big.  More on what such libraries look like here:
and here:

Anderson Brule Architects (ABA) said a 143,500 sq. ft. library was "needed" by Sunnyvale.  This was estimated at $125M with LEED Platinum, or $108M without LEED Platinum specifications.  The city hired a polling firm to see if such a $125M bond would pass and they found it would not.  So a library of 116,000 sq. ft. was proposed for $108M with LEED Platinum - the same cost as the 144K SF library without LEED Platinum.  An amazing coincidence.

Or maybe not so amazing.  The bond statement said nothing about LEED Platinum or what size library it would be so they could have taken the money and built the larger library and forget about LEED Platinum.  Or even a smaller library.  With no size or other specs given, it was $108M to build whatever they decide is a library.  Wording of the bond measure is here: http://www.smartvoter.org/2007/11/06/ca/scl/meas/B/

In the following excerpts, "Alternative 1" was for a 143,500 square foot library.  "Alternative 7" was for a 116,000 sq.ft. library.

From page 13 of minutes (cf photocopy below):
Melinda Hamilton
Deborah Barrow
"[Library] Director Barrow stated the idea behind ...[Alternative 7] is that if additional funding became available, the library could be expanded. Councilmember Hamilton confirmed that the Board of Library Trustees accepted the 116,000 square foot size library... because of the funding issues."

From page 16 of minutes  (cf photocopy below):
Mayor Otto Lee
Mayor Lee inquired what Jedda's opinion was regarding the recommendation for a smaller library than what was originally proposed. Jedda stated she understands that recommendation came from the studies that were performed on what the community would actually support. Jedda stated she would prefer a larger library, but if the public will not support it then a smaller library (with the ability to expand in the future) is a great way to proceed with the project.

From Page 20 of the minutes (cf photocopy below):
Restated MOTION: Councilmember Swegles moved and Councilmember Howe seconded to approve Alternative 7, 9, 11 and 15: Alternative 7 (as approved by the Board of Library Trustees): Council accepts the plan for a new main library using the "Preferred Facility" option as a basis for a two-story library at Olive Ave. and Charles St., replacing the Sunnyvale Office Center and relocating the community garden to build a library facility at a cost up to $108M for a facility of approximately 116,000 square feet, funded by a General Obligation Bond with an average annual rate of less than $20 per $100,000 assessed valuation; the initial size of the library to correspond to the level of funds approved by voters, and with the capability of expanding the library up to 143,500 square feet

Copies of CC minutes.  Click on any to enlarge for readability.

Page 13 of the Minutes - click to enlarge

Page 16 of the Minutes - click to enlarge

Page 17 of the Minutes - click to enlarge
Page 20 of the Minutes - click to enlarge

Page 21 of the Minutes - click to enlarge

The meeting minutes are not available on the city web site but can be obtained by asking the city clerk for it.  Direct an inquiry for CC minutes of June 6, 2007 document number cc-20070619-m to the city clerk's email: cityclerk@sunnyvale.ca.gov .  You can also ask for a DVD recording of the meeting.

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