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AUGUST 17, 2007 Minutes of the Board Retreat



President Leary called the meeting to order at 4:40 p.m.


Present: Greene, Head (arrived 4:54 p.m.), Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Surovell
Absent: Cahill
Staff: Davis, Nieman, Parker, Wilson (Recorder)
Others: Sandra Greenstone, enliven consulting; Rich Henes, Cornerstone Design Inc.; Doug Kelbaugh, Dean and Professor of
Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan

(Item of action)

It was the unanimous consent of the board that the agenda be approved.


08-023 A. RETREAT

Introductions around the room were made.

Programming activity and statistics were distributed.

Director Parker stated that this retreat is a continuation of the 2006 retreat. Last year’s retreat culminated with the Downtown Library Feasibility Study that was received by the Board in July 2007.

Associate Director Nieman reported that fiscal year 2006-2007 ended with a balance of $7.3 million in unrestricted cash. His estimates indicate the Library would end up with 12 million in cash reserves by 2011 based on 4% per year tax increase. This estimate would fund the low end of facility Option 1 at the most. If any facility option is decided upon it would necessitate securing bonds
for funding.

Director Parker noted updates to the Strategic Plan were included in the Retreat packet. The discussion this evening is part of the
Strategic Plan. The Library will complete most of the Plan ahead of 2010. Director Parker introduced all managers present and commended them on their service.

Sandra Greenstone reviewed the agenda.

It was the consensus of the Board to review all four facility options.

Rich Henes reported on his assessment of the downtown facility and noted the following:
• HVAC systems are archaic/and difficult to find replacement parts for.
• Plumbing system has seen recent sump pump failure. The sanitary system is close to failure with parts unavailable therefore requiring specialized creation.
• Lighting is sub-standard, anywhere from 6 to 27 foot-candles.
• The physical structure of the building is in good shape.
• The building is not designed to take any additional load.
• Elevators/mechanical/plumbing are all major issues. Infrastructure upgrades quoted by Tim Minick last year, would run $2 million.
• Most precarious situation is lack of handicapped accessible restrooms. Nothing that is considered dangerous. Mechanical units (sump pumps) are on last legs. Systems that are critical to operations are weak.
• The original portion of the building has good features: windows are fine, roof needs replacement, HVAC needs replacement, electrical system O.K., water system O.K., lighting needs replacement, storm/sanitary system needs replacement, 50% of infrastructure needs replacement.

The Board recessed fifteen minutes for a dinner break.

Sandra Greenstone reviewed page six of the Feasibility Study regarding public service spaces. These services have been identified as important features but no space is available at the current site:
• Coffee shop (listed in strategic plan)
• Retail space (listed in strategic plan)
• Additional meeting rooms
• Larger auditorium
• More public computers
• Larger teen area
• Display area for special collections
• “Living room” space

Sandra asked the Board to confirm that these services and features are part of the mission of the library and there was unanimous

The facility options were reviewed.

Option 1 (renovation and addition) would allow for:
• Enclosure of the garden and porch. Property footprint would not change
• Changes in lower level/auditorium
• Café can be investigated – no market analysis done yet
• Quiet reading rooms
• Increase in natural light
• Improvement of display space

Option 2 (demolition/renovation) would allow for:
• Demolition of original building, adding a tower
• Vehicle access
• Would require big changes on the first floor
• Auditorium would go in and down
• Lower level staff room would be gone
• Circulation moved to other side of building
• Two public entries
• Friends space affected
• Meeting rooms added
• Staff lounge moved up

Option 3 (demolition and new construction) requires an agreement to place building on “library lot” (City parking lot), property the
Library does not own. Parking would also be underneath and a plaza on street level.

Option 4 (demolition and new construction) is similar to Option 3. The building would be demolished. Parking would be underneath the new building built.

Doug Kelbaugh commented:
• Main Street is a great draw downtown.
• State Street is the second great draw downtown.
• 80% of the people coming downtown by car still walk around.
• The Library would be better served if it was closer to Liberty Street. A small street/lane could be added between the Library and the library lot (aka: Library Lane). Commercial activity could also be developed along that area.
• Purchase the library lot to develop a public space. Don’t want front lawn downtown as opposed to a plaza.
• Should have numerous front doors/transparencies.
• The options taking a “bite” out of the southeast corner are flawed.
• Front door opening onto the library lot.
• Height? Generous adaptable/flexible space, three stories part open to the top.
• Can the Library build a street that the City takes over to maintain?

Connie Greene left the meeting at 7:35 p.m.

The Board recessed for a fifteen minute break at 7:37 p.m.

The Board commented on the following:
• Do we renovate a little/do a major renovation with addition/or move to another location?
• Build new at new site – not away from downtown?
• Next steps:
1. Will City sell lot and/or provide lane?
2. Bond study
3. Future short term/long term planning
• Minor renovation vs. major, cooperation with the City? Need to set goals and be flexible. Partner with U of M?
• City owns lots and controls everything we do including zoning.
• DDA a potential partner?
• Bond study can’t be done effectively until we are sure what we want to accomplish.

Consensus of the Board was:
• Discuss with the City regarding parking lot/lane
• That none of the four options were feasible
• To seek development of site plans
• Talk with potential partners
• Bond study after plans have been developed and Northeast Branch has been opened
• Repairs to current building will be addressed as they arise
• Put aside the issue of parking at this time

Doug Kelbaugh commented:
• Architect drafting plans needs urban design skills
• A competition would be a good way to receive lots of publicity, but would take time and cost money
• The Library should meet with the DDA
• The Library should begin discussions with the City of Ann Arbor


President Leary adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m.