Library foes’ projections way off | AspenTimes.com

Library foes’ projections way off

Dear Editor:

Recently, there have been several letters to the editor regarding the proposed library expansion. I feel the erroneous information contained in those letters must be addressed.

I have been closely involved with the Pitkin County Library for some 25 years, both as a volunteer and as a paid construction consultant. During this time, the staff and board of trustees have always had the cost to the taxpayers as their primary concern regarding library matters.

Over the past three years, there have been numerous surveys, focus groups and public meetings analyzing who uses the library and how it is done. The need for the renovation and expansion has been determined necessary to make the library services consistent with the needs of library patrons currently and projected 20 years into the future.

One of the most glaring items of erroneous information in previous letters is that of cost. The building will not cost $1,500 per square foot.

Total estimated cost of the renovation is $10.3 million. Of this amount, actual construction costs are estimated at $6,532,507, which is for both the renovation of the existing library, which is extensive, and the new construction over the parking structure.

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Dividing the total hard costs of the construction ($6,532,507) by the total area of the existing and new building (38,901 square feet), makes the per-square-foot cost $167.92.

The balance of $3,767,493 is for planning and architecture, site modifications, furniture, fixtures, equipment, technology, building permits, sewer and water fees, consultant fees and 15 percent contingency. Thus, the total, all-inclusive, per-square-foot cost is $264.77.

John Keleher

Owner’s representative, Pitkin County Library

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