Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In Need of a Library

Prop U is a $19.4 million zero-tax-rate-increase bond issue that would tackle many renovations and capital improvements to the beautifully, historic schools in University City. Many of the schools date back as far as the 1930s. Just like our old homes, these schools require more upkeep than newer schools and can lack some of the 21st facilities of new schools.

It’s hard to dispute much needed renovations such as inadequate and failing HVAC systems and leaking roofs that are like sieves, lockers that date to the 1950s that are now safety hazards, or even 30-year-old windows in need of replacement. But why does the high school need a new library and media center?
Architect's rendering of the high school library addition.
Here are some facts:
·       The current library is actually a courtyard that was enclosed at some point as a library. The space was not originally intended as a library and therefore the space is choppy and does not function well for the educational needs / standards required by today’s teachers.
·       The current HS library does not meet DESE standards.

·       While a library can be likened to the command center of any school, the high school is the centerpiece of any school district. This is the final stop for students before launching into their secondary education.  Students and the community gather here to research, collaborate, and learn. Our students and our community deserve 21st century facilities to prepare them for the future.

·       Renovation would cost $1,000,000 more than a new addition. It is less expensive to build a new addition than to renovate the existing space. However, the existing space would be repurposed to accommodate other programs in the school (such as graphics art) that are now in cramped or less than desirable spaces.

·       In addition to a new library, the addition would feature collaboration space, resource space, upgraded technology, broadcasting and publishing centers, and ADA access.

·       The library addition will have separate access from the school and the ability to restrict access into the main building. This enables the use of the variety of spaces in the library / media center for community purposes.  
So, while some may be asking why a new library / media center for the high school, I ask, “Why not?”

For more information on Prop U visit

Double click on images for a larger version.
Proposed floor plan for first floor

Proposed floor plan for second floor

Proposed floor plan for third floor

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