It's Germane

The John Jermain Library's Weblog

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the Renovation and Expansion Plan

  1. What Does the Project Include?
  2. How Much Will It Cost?
  3. How Will This Affect My Taxes?
  4. How Will the Money Be Spent?
  5. Why Is This a Good Time For the Project?
  6. Who Will Do the work?
  7. How Long Will the Project Take?
  8. Will the Library Close During Construction?
  9. What About Parking?
  10. How Big Is the New Addition?
  11. What Will It Look Like?
  12. Will the Community Have a Voice in the Design Process?
  13. What About the Second Building at Mashashimuet Park?
  14. Who Was Involved In Developing This Plan?
  15. When Is the Vote?
  16. Where Do I Vote?
  17. Do I Have to Be a Resident of Sag Harbor Village to Vote?
  18. How Can I Register to Vote?
  19. What If I Can’t Be There On June 29th?
  20. How Can I Get More Information?


What Does the Project Include?

  • An elevator
  • Handicapped-accessible bathrooms
  • Handicapped accessible collection spaces
  • More room for adult books and media
  • Expanded space for children’s, teen and family services
  • Areas for class visits and student research
  • A climate-controlled archive for our rare historic materials
  • A new community room for our programs and classes
  • A Business Center with computers, scanners, copier, and fax machine
  • A periodical reading area
  • A community art gallery
  • A new, efficient HVAC system
  • Improved safety measures including a sprinkler system
  • Renovated staff areas for more efficient preparation of library materials
  • The complete repair and restoration of our beautiful building, including the third floor rotunda, returning that area to its original function as a quiet reading space—with a working fireplace
  • Incorporation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in the new construction and where possible in the renovation of the existing structure

Back to Top of Page

How Much Will It Cost?

On June 29th the board will ask residents of the Sag Harbor Union Free School District to approve a $9,987,500 referendum for the project.

Back to Top of Page

How Will This Affect My Taxes?
The Request for Proposals for the 20-year-bond has so far received three responses from lenders quoting interest rates between 4.9 and 5.25 percent based on current market conditions. Using these estimates, a family living in the District with a home valued at $750,000 would pay approximately $93 to $97 a year to fund the building plan. That translates into about twenty-five cents a day.

Back to Top of Page

How Will the Money Be Spent?
Roughly $5 million is for the repair and restoration of the existing building. New HVAC systems and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance measures, including an elevator and accessible bathrooms will add just over $2.2 million. The expansion will cost just over $2.5 million.

Back to Top of Page

Why is This a Good Time for the Project?
The current economic situation has resulted in reduced construction costs–according to our cost estimators, as much as 15% lower on the South Fork. This trend will most likely continue for another year or two before costs will start to climb again. Similarly, lending agencies are offering lower interest rates. Where a bond of this type would have carried a 7% interest rate in the recent past, we anticipate a fixed rate in the mid 5% range. A one percent drop in the interest rate results in a $1,420,000 savings in interest paid on the 20-year bond. These rates too are expected to climb again as the economy recovers. In addition, the need for repairs to our 99-year-old building has reached a critical point. Water infiltration continues to deteriorate the building at an increasing rate, extensively damaging the limestone cornice, window frames and the copper and stained-glass skylight. The current heating and cooling system is severely compromised in performing its basic functions, costing us thousands of dollars in extra fuel charges. Our inefficient electrical system is also expensive to operate and potentially dangerous.

Back to Top of Page

Who Will Do the Work?
The board has committed to using local contractors as much as possible, in an effort to return money to the local economy.

Back to Top of Page

How Long Will the Project Take?
Pre-construction work will take 12 to 18 months, including design, permitting and variance requests, SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review), and securing financing. We anticipate starting construction after the summer of 2010, and are allowing roughly a year and a half from that point to complete the project.

Back to Top of Page

Will the Library Close During Construction?
We will need to operate in a temporary facility for part of the construction phase, but we will definitely be open!

Back to Top of Page

What About Parking?
The Board hired a traffic consultant to study parking issues and make recommendations. The consultant’s full report, available at the library, includes the following recommendations:

  • Slow traffic along Main Street in front of the library;
  • Increase the usability of existing parking by “striping” parking spaces;
  • Improve safety and pedestrian access by moving the handicapped spaces to Jefferson Street;
  • Switch the Jefferson Street parking to the library side of the street, making it easier for both drivers and passengers to disembark from their cars.

The report concludes: “The proposed recommendations for the Library will improve pedestrian and vehicular traffic circulation and safety as well as improve upon the existing parking conditions. These improvements will be an asset to the village community, not just to the patrons of JJML.” The parking issue needs much more investigation. These potential solutions will be reviewed with the Board, the Village, and the County. One of the first items to address with referendum monies is a detailed and thorough traffic analysis which will yield a design that works for both winter and summer traffic patterns.

Back to Top of Page

How Big Is the New Addition?
The final plans cannot be drawn until the public ratifies the project with a successful referendum vote. At this point the proposed three-story addition measures around 7000 square feet. Two-thirds of the space is necessary for code compliance and accessibility, and about one-third for expanded areas for library materials and programs. The lowest level is below grade, tucked into the hillside behind the library. The total height of the addition is around 32 feet, 26 feet of which is above ground level. The proposed addition’s highest point is well below the current building’s stone cornice.

Back to Top of Page

What Will It Look Like?
As stated above, the final plans cannot be drawn until the public ratifies funds to complete the design project with a successful referendum vote. The architects’ preliminary drawings (available on our website and in the library) show the addition tucked behind the existing structure, with tall windows to make use of natural light, and a stone and glass façade. The façade of the existing building will be fully restored; the only changes planned are making doorways out of two existing window openings, one each on our current second and third floors.

Back to Top of Page

Will the Community Have a Voice in the Design Process?
Once the referendum is passed, the design will be vetted in Village Architectural Review, Planning, and Zoning Board hearings, where the public can and should weigh in. The Library has been an active and contributing member in the Historic Sag Harbor Village; we look forward to continuing that relationship.

Back to Top of Page

What About the Second Building at Mashashimuet Park?
The Board has decided not to go ahead with a second building at the time. There are several reasons for this decision.

  • The park site is triangular in shape and able to accommodate a building of about 6000 square feet (smaller than our current building) with parking for 31 cars (fewer spaces than are available around our current facility). Even a building of this size requires that we apply for variances.
  • Our cost estimators project that a 6000 square foot building would cost around $6 million, with another $1 million needed for land acquisitions, title search, soil borings, Pine Barren Credit fees required in order to obtain clearance for a cesspool, and bonding and legal fees.
  • The land at the park is environmentally sensitive, and sits at the headwaters of the Long Pond Greenbelt. The civil engineers working on the project thought there was a good chance that development there would face a number of challenges during the SEQR process. Because of the restrictions on funding for municipal projects, any one of those potential challenges would have held up the entire project; that is, a problem at the park would put development at our existing building on hold — if what was put up for referendum was a combined project.
  • Additionally, the facility at the park, designed to house programming, archives and a computer lab, would have required a significant increase in staff: 7 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, or roughly a half million dollars in salaries, training, and combined benefits at today’s rate. That represents a 50% increase in our operating budget. The proposed addition to our existing building requires no additional staff increases.

Back to Top of Page

Who Was Involved in Developing This Plan?
At a public meeting on Wednesday May 6th the Board of Trustees announced their plans to move forward on a referendum for the restoration and expansion of the library’s current building at 201 Main Street. This announcement was the conclusion of many years of work by many people: current and former board and staff members; members of community organizations such as the Community Library Committee (CLC) and the Building Task Force Committee (BTF); the library’s architects, Newman Architects from New Haven; the consultants the architects have hired, including civil, structural and mechanical engineers and historic preservationists; and the library’s cost estimators and construction managers, Sandpebble Builders based in Southampton. Over the past year the library has held six public meetings to discuss the project with the public; many of the ideas generated during these workshops have shaped the library’s decisions. Equally valuable have been the many comments and suggestions by you, our patrons, as you use the library whether checking out materials, coming to our programs and classes, or using our public computers and reference materials.

Back to Top of Page

When Is the Vote?
The vote will take place on June 29th from noon until 8:00 p.m.

Back to Top of Page

Where Do I Vote?
At the John Jermain Memorial Library, 201 Main Street, Sag Harbor.

Back to Top of Page

Do I Have to Be a Resident of Sag Harbor Village to Vote?
No! The library serves the entire Sag Harbor Union Free School District, and any registered voter of the district is eligible to vote.

Back to Top of Page

How Can I Register to Vote?
If you are already registered to vote in the school district, you don’t need to do anything. If not, you can register at the library on Tuesday June 23rd anytime from noon to 4:00 p.m. Please bring two pieces of identification, one showing your date of birth (such as a driver’s license or passport) and one proving your residency in the school district (such as tax or utility bill or lease). Or, you can download a voter registration form at: http://www.elections.state.ny.us/voting.html

Back to Top of Page

What If I Can’t Be There On June 29th?
You can vote using an absentee ballot. Applications for the ballots are available at the library or at the School District Clerk’s office located in the Pierson High School building, Division Street entrance. Completed forms must be mailed or hand-delivered to the Clerk’s office.

Back to Top of Page

How Can I Get More Information?
Check this blog often—we will be updating the content on a regular basis. Or come to one of the community meetings that are scheduled during the next few weeks, including:

  • Friends of the Library Meeting, 2:00 p.m. on May 14th;
  • Chatfield Hills Neighborhood Assoc. Meeting, 11:30 a.m. on May 23rd;
  • Joint meeting of the Sag Harbor Village Boards at 5:30 p.m. on May 27th;
  • AARP meeting at 1:00 p.m. on June 1st;
  • North Haven Board of Trustees Meeting, 5:00 on June 2nd;
  • Mashashimuet Park, Little League Baseball practice, 5:30 on June 3rd;
  • Mashashimuet Park, Little League T-ball practice, 5:30 on June 4th;
  • Sag Harbor Community Action Committee (CAC) Pierson High School, 4:30 June 5th;
  • CONPOSH Meeting at the Old Whalers Church, 3:00 on June 7th.
  • Board of Education meeting, 7:30 p.m. on June 8th;
  • Noyac Civic Council meeting, 7:30 p.m. on June 9th;
  • Sag Harbor Elementary School PTA, 3:30 p.m. on June 11th;
  • Following JJML Board meeting, 6:00 p.m. on June 17th;
  • Bay Point Neighborhood Association Annual Meeting, North Haven Village Hall, 10:00 a.m. on June 20th.

You can also contact Library Director Catherine Creedon, at 725-0049×23, or catherine@johnjermain.org for more information, or to schedule a meeting with your group. Or pay us a visit to view the plans and discuss the project. We are all very excited about the future of John Jermain, and would love the chance to talk about it with you.

Back to Top of Page

More Renovation and Expansion Information:

One thought on “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Pingback: Library Renovation & Expansion FAQ Available Online « It’s Germane

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s