We have included here the most frequently asked questions about the Baker Free Library’s lower level renovation project. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Lower Level Renovation Committee or the library director at bfldirector@comcast.net.

1. Why are we pursuing this renovation now?

Appropriate storage for town historical items is a critical need right now. We’re losing our town’s history by storing historical documents and artifacts in resident homes and in overcrowded and inaccessible areas of town buildings. In addition, residents have indicated through surveys and focus groups conducted since 2008 the need for additional free and larger meeting space for non profit organizations.

2. How does this project relate to the proposal for a new Recreation/Community Center building?

The Recreational Needs Study Subcommittee, formed by the Board of Selectmen in 2014, is charged with developing and near and long-term plan regarding the recreational needs of Bow. One of the long-term goals they have suggested is building a new Recreation Building, but plans are not formalized beyond noting that the building could contain a gym, stage, kitchen, and meeting rooms. The Library Trustees hope that the Lower Level Renovation project and a new Recreation Building would complement each other by serving different needs in the community.

3. Does Bow need more meeting/program space?

The 2004 Town of Bow Master Plan states that a priority goal for the library was “… developing the downstairs space for programs and meeting space.” The library serves approximately 50 different groups annually through the Meeting Room (capacity 32 people, off of the library’s vestibule) and the Baker Room (capacity 30 people, in the library basement). The use of the library meeting rooms differs from all other meeting spaces in town due to the fact that any Bow resident can use the meeting rooms free of charge for non-profit, charitable meeting purposes between 7am and 11pm, seven days per week. No other space in town offers such broad, free use to its residents.

4. Is the current parking at the library adequate?

The current library parking lot contains 26 spaces (24 + 2 handicapped). Based on the parking study commissioned in 2013, we need to add 28 spaces for the amount of public square footage added by the renovation. The Library trustees have reached long-term agreements with our neighbors, Bovie Screen Printing and NH Automobile Dealers Association, to lease 30 parking spots for evening/weekend use for 10 years, and with the Bow Mills United Methodist Church for 28 spots for weekday use for 5 years (with a renewal option for an additional 5 years).  The Library Trustees continue to work toward permanent parking solutions with all abutters to the Library property.

5. Will the library’s annual budget need to increase due to the renovation?

The library’s operational costs, specifically utilities, would increase due to the additional heating, cooling, and lighting. Also, the custodial responsibilities within the library would change, necessitating additional custodial hours.

6. Will the new space be accessible?

The library building is and will be accessible according to ADA requirements.

7. What is NOT included in the renovation cost estimate?

There are a few items not included in the renovation cost estimate. These items may be obtained through in-kinds donations, matching donations, grant funding, or additional private fundraising: security system (cameras, etc.); technology infrastructure (sound system, projection system, wireless capability, etc.); furniture for informal/formal meeting and seating areas; and appliances for the kitchen.

8. What will the tax impact be on my tax bill to complete this project?

Home Value Property Tax*
$150,000 $7.50
$200,000 $10.00
$250,000 $12.50
$300,000 $15.00
$350,000 $17.50

*Tax amount needed to raise the balance of $50,000 in the 2016/17 tax year.

The library trustees have consistently stated their intention to privately raise half of the project cost, or $300,000. That would leave $300,000 to be raised by taxation. The town raised $250,000 of that amount to be placed in the library’s Lower Level Renovation capital reserve fund at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 town meetings. The Library Trustees intend to ask fro the last $50,000 to be raised by taxation at the 2016 Town Meeting.

9. How can I donate to the project?

There are three ways to donate to the Lower Level Renovation project:

1. Contact a Lower Level Renovation Committee member or Library Trustee (call 224-7113 or e-mail the library director Lori Fisher at bfldirector@comcast.net)

2. Send a check made out to the Friends of the Baker Free Library, attention Baker Free Library Foundation, at the Library’s address (509 South Street, Bow, NH 03304).

3. Visit the homepage of the Baker Free Library Renovation web site (www.bakerfreerenovation.org) and click on the PayPal Link at the top right corner of the home page.

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