Saturday, November 22, 2008

15 Reasons to Tear Down the Existing DownTown Ann Arbor Library - What are they?

The Ann Arbor District Library Board has been pursuing a plan to tear down the existing library building located at 343 South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 and replace it with a new 71 million dollar building. Could someone find the list of 15 reasons and post it?

While I am the first to say YES to a cool new downtown Ann Arbor Library with great amenities, I cannot find much discussion on why the current building is in need of tear down and replacement and how the cost can be justified.

The plan is to replace the current Ann Arbor Downtown Library with a new building in the same location that will be 47% larger at 160,000 square feet and four stories.

"Current services will be enhanced and spaces for youth, teens, exhibits, meetings, study, and reading will be larger. The building will include a 400 seat auditorium; a Reading Room that will be designated as a quiet area for reading and study; a children's area three times larger than the current area; expanded space for collections including audiovisual formats; adaptive technology labs for adults and children as part of our new mission to serve the blind and physically disabled; and the flexibility in the future to accommodate new formats and services without expensive remodeling. We will continue our commitment to build responsibly using sustainable technologies and the new downtown library will be barrier free and accessible to everyone.

In the current building much of the essential infrastructure, including electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, is original to the 1958 building and it is failing. Credit should be given to the effort that was made over the 50 year life cycle of the Downtown Library to those who maintained and serviced the building. Things wear out, and when they do, they need to be replaced. The scope of this project enables the use of modern, efficient building systems that will result in a more sustainable library." Downtown Library Project Update

Photo credit: AADL downtown library by fabi_k

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