Between 2008 and 2012, the library trustees and staff solicited input on the proposed uses for the Lower Level space. Bow residents participated in numerous surveys, interviews, and focus groups so that the proposed design would reflect current community needs. Based on resident feedback, an initial design was created in 2011 by Carley Associates. After obtaining monies at the 2012 Town Meeting to pursue a further refined design and a more concrete cost estimate, a new design was created by H. L. Turner to better reflect input received from residents after viewing the initial design by Carley Associates.
The revised design created by H. L. Turner can be downloaded as a pdf:
Lower Level Design 2013
The Lower Level space is construction-ready. The unfinished existing space of 7,200 square feet was created by the library’s expansion and renovation in 2000. As stated in the 2004 Town Master Plan, the lower level was intended for “program and meeting space.” The area is ready for an immediate build-out to address five current community needs:
1. Archival storage for Bow documents and artifacts, with public access. There is limited public access to documents at Town Hall and no public access to items stored in several Town buildings and other private locations.
2. Flexible meeting space and activity areas for up to 75 people. The library provides the only free meeting space in town, seven days per week, to residents as members of non-profit groups.
3. Small group tutoring rooms. There is increased demand for more private tutoring spaces so that regular library users who want a quiet place to work are not disturbed by teacher/student or group conversations.
4. Friends of Baker Free Library used book sale area. This popular service allows residents to donate their gently used books for resale, with the sale monies going back into the library in the form of nine annual museum passes and special family event sponsorship.
5. A space for technology training for residents. This space will provide the infrastructure necessary for library staff to offer broader classes and workshops related to technology.
The new design by H. L. Turner allows for better traffic flow throughout the spaces, and does not entail taking out a wall in order to create the new 75 person meeting space. In addition, the CCTV studio idea has been put on hold, and the space (labeled “storage/future”) will be used to hold a/v controls for the larger meeting space, and can also be used as a digital learning lab with a portion designated as a “green wall” for creating video footage. Last, the idea of emergency shelter space for town residents has also been put off for a future date in order to save money by not purchasing a large generator through this project.
Rendering of the informal coffee house space, looking towards the Friends book sale room
Rendering of the proposed 75-person meeting space
Walk Through Video
Click here to watch a short video walk-through of the proposed renovated lower level space.
The estimated cost of the Lower Level Renovation Project is $600,000. The library trustees have committed to privately raise half of the project cost. Bow residents approved setting aside $50,000 in the Library Lower Level Renovation capital reserve fund for the project at the 2013 Town Meeting. The balance of the cost would be put forward for resident taxpayer approval at upcoming town meetings in 2014 and 2015, with a projected start date for construction in July 2015. The renovation would be completed around October 29, 2015, the 101st anniversary date of the library’s dedication.
For questions about the design, contact Baker Free Library Board of Trustees Chairman, Tom Ives, or Lori Fisher, Library Director, at 224-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.