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New Library Cost
Estimated Debt Schedule
Building Program
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Operating Budget
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Invitation to Bid

On behalf of the Town of Durham, Bauen Corporation and SMP Architecture invite interested suppliers and subcontractors to provide bids on requested parts of the new public library project to be located at 49 Madbury Road.

The project consists of sitework, concrete formwork and flatwork, brick veneer, structural steel and misc. metals, wood framing with trusses, cementboard siding, aphalt roofing, spray foam, fiberglass and High R insulation, aluminum entry doors and interior glazing, fiberglass windows, hollow metal and wood doors, metal frames, hardware, drywall, toilet accessories, fire extinguishers, sprinkler system, heating, plumbing, and electrical components including a generator. Note that interior trim and casework, acoustical ceilings, painting, flooring, and signage will be bid in about three weeks.

For complete bid instructions, Click here.


Library Building Committee Meeting Minutes

The Library Building Committee has been meeting biweekly with SMP Architecture and Bauen Corporation - our design/build team - along with project engineers, landscape architects, representatives from Public Works and IT, and other parties working on the new library project.

We are working on Design Phase 1B in which we finalize the design plans created last year in Phase 1A. The architects plan to submit the final design by the end of May so that construction can begin this July.

Below you will find the minutes for each of the meetings that have taken place to date.

DPL Building Committee Meeting Minutes

May 11, May 25, June 8, June 22, 2012
March 16, 2012
March 27, 2012
March 30, 2012
April 12, 2012

Thank You Durham!

Library Bond Passes with 74% Vote

Durham voters approved the construction of a new library facility by passing a $2.6M bond on March 13th. A 2/3 majority was required but the bond passed by 74%, indicating the people of Durham appreciate the importance of their public library to the community. The library staff would like to thank the scores of people who generously supported this project. This positive outcome is the culmination of years of effort and dedication on the part of Trustees (both past and present), Friends of the Library, and library supporters from throughout the community.

Our timetable calls for the library to be complete by the summer of 2013. There is much work to be done on design and construction, but the goal is in sight. The new library will serve as a community resource for generations, providing books and other materials in multiples formats; collection, storytime and craft areas for children; a room for teens; spaces for meetings, programs, and events; areas for Durham residents to gather or for individuals to enjoy quiet time reading in a comfortable chair; and so much more. There is something in the new library for everyone.

Why do we need a new library?

Quite simply, the current Durham Public Library is too small to meet the needs, demands and desires of residents for printed material, electronic information, and programming and community space. The new Durham Public Library will be an active, vibrant cultural center connecting the people of our Town to information, resources, enriching activities and to each other. The current Durham Public Library, located in a rented storefront in the Mill Plaza, was always intended to be temporary space that would be replaced by a stand-alone facility owned by the Town. After years of searching for a permanent site, Dr. Arthur DiMambro’s property at 49 Madbury Rd was selected. An addition attached to the existing house, with its 2.8 acres of land, will meet the growing library needs of Durham residents and address many of the deficiencies of the Mill Plaza location such as lack of children’s and young adult areas, reading rooms, meeting, study, and conference rooms, space for collection growth, and workspace. Also, the current library pays $56,500/year for rent and related charges (meaning over $750,000 during the course of the lease) that will be better invested in library operations.

The current location was never intended as a permanent site and was never sized to address the community’s needs that have grown rapidly over the past 14 ½ years while the space has not increased. The library is not ADA-compliant and, therefore, not accessible to all, has only one unisex bathroom that also doubles as storage, has too few public computers, doesn’t have meeting space or staff work room, privacy or enough shelves to house the current collection despite the increased demand for new material in a variety of formats.

Isn’t the current library sufficient, given the other available libraries, like UNH and the school libraries?

Durham Public Library serves the citizenry of Durham in ways that academic and school libraries cannot. A public library provides a broad spectrum of materials in a various formats – bestsellers, DVDs, books on CD, eBooks – to meet the needs of the general public, and offers programming for children, young adults, and adults. The UNH library’s purpose is centered on academic materials and research, while the Oyster River school libraries serve only the younger portion of the population and are closed evenings, weekends and all school breaks.

Why not rely on e-books and interlibrary loan for expansion?

E-books and audiobooks are great tools that will impact our future, but books in print will be with us for quite some time. Book sales and book circulations are up nationally, and since 2006, materials loaned by the Durham Public Library increased 80%. Many towns throughout New Hampshire have recently expanded or built new libraries. Each one experienced significant growth in use, the ability to provide more activities and programs, and created an active center for community engagement – something eBooks and interlibrary loans cannot accomplish.

Isn’t this project too large for Durham in comparison to similar communities?

With wide community input, the library Trustees and the building committee developed a building space program that called for 13,300 square feet which, through a careful design effort, was reduced to the proposed plan of 10,500 sf. During design, visits were paid to other small communities in New Hampshire that have built libraries recently. Most of them are somewhere between 10,000 sf and 15,000 sf., confirming that our design is now the right size for the Town of Durham. In fact, the new library will be below the New Hampshire average size for a town of our population.

Approximately one-third of this space will house the collection and two-thirds will be “people space” for patrons and staff, underscoring our vision for the library as a community resource center to serve all ages all year round.

How “green” will the new building be?

We are seeking to build a LEED-level facility, whether or not we apply for certification. We will investigate such “green” systems as energy-efficient digitally controlled mechanical systems, lighting systems with occupancy and day lighting sensors, full audio/visual capability in the meeting rooms. Maintenance costs can be kept to a minimum with durable exterior finishes that are easy to maintain and a highly insulated building envelope. In addition, well-insulated windows will provide abundant natural light and views to the surrounding landscape.

Won’t it cost more to run a bigger library?

Yes, the larger space will require some additional staff, more technology needs and higher energy expenses but those will be almost entirely offset by saving the $56,500+ a year that the library currently pays in rent. The operating costs are expected to increase between $13,500 and $15,000 a year for the same hours the current library is open. However, residents will have the added benefit of the large community room with a 100 person capacity being available at times when the library is closed.

What will this do to my taxes?

The total project budget of $4.8 million includes everything to create the new library – buying the property, construction, furniture, up-to-date media and technology equipment including wireless access throughout, appliances for the kitchen adjacent to the community room, design fees, moving, project management, and contingency funds in case unforeseen problems are encountered during construction. Nearly one-half of the cost has already been raised through private donations from residents, foundations and grants. Therefore, the requested municipal bond will be no greater than $2.6 million and may be lower as the Capital Campaign committee continues to raise funds.

The increase in operational costs plus the annual repayment of the bond will result in an approximate 1% increase to residents’ current total tax bills. For example, a property assessed at $300,000 will have a tax increase of about $35 per tax payment period or $70 a year.

What’s the rush? Can’t we wait and build in a few years?

There is an urgency in moving forward with this project. Our current rented space is not a long term solution for our library, and we have no control over how long it will remain available to us. Construction costs are extremely reasonable right now and interest rates on bonds are at a near-historic low, but they are predicted to rise over the next year. This means we get a much greater value for each dollar we spend if we move forward now rather than putting it off until later. 

Durham Public Library is On the Move!

The Durham Public Library Building Committee will be making documents available to the public as the project progresses to help answer any questions residents of Durham might have. This page will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Still have questions? Please send us an Email.

April 22, 2011

After more than a decade in what was intended to be a “temporary” storefront location at the Mill Plaza, the Durham Public Library is about to make the long-awaited move to a facility that more appropriately reflects our citizens’ values and needs. The former home of Dr. Arthur DiMambro at 49 Madbury Road will be adapted and an addition will be constructed to create a facility that will significantly increase the library’s contributions to the quality of life in our community.

To view the entire project booklet, Click here.

Meeting with Town Councillibrary south side

November 18, 2010

On Monday November 8th, Doug Bencks, Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, and Tom Madden, Durham Public Library Director, had the opportunity to discuss the progress that has been made on the library building project thus far and our expectations for the future. For more information, Click here.

Library Consultant Facilitates Focus Groupsfocus group

October 7, 2010

The Library Board of Trustees have contracted with consultant Nolan Lushington to prepare a library building program for the new facility being planned for the recently purchased property at 49 Madbury Road. For more information, Click here.

For Library Building Program document, Click here.

Future Library Site Acquiredhouse purchase signing

September 3, 2010

The Town of Durham and Mr. Arthur DiMambro entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S Agreement) for Mr. DiMambro’s property at 49 Madbury Road as the potential future site for the Durham Public Library. For more information, Click here.

Council Approves Purchase of 49 Madbury Road for Library
house viewed from street
July 13, 2010

The Town Council unanimously approved a motion to support the Durham Public Library Board of Trustees purchase of the property at 49 Madbury Road for the purpose of building a new public library. For more information, Click here.

Town to Purchase Site for New Librarydimambro house

DURHAM — A decade in the works, the town this week announced it has agreed to purchase land on Madbury Road for a new library. The $600,000 transaction will be paid with private donations raised by the Durham Public Library Board of Trustees. For more information, Click here.

What is Your Public Library Worth to You?
dollar bill

Libraries throughout New Hampshire offer a variety of entertainment and educational materials at a very economical rate. The average New Hampshire taxpayer contributes about $26 in taxes per year to fund public libraries and their services. To find out how much would you need to pay out-of-pocket if you had to purchase books, movies and other library services, Click here.