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**Renewing the Library of Congress.
**Delaware County District Library tackles the no-Internet-at-home problem.
**Rohan Narayana Murty is reintroducing classical Indian texts to local readers.


Explanation of Repair Estimate

March 2011

This is an explanation of the repair estimates provided by architect J. Stewart Roberts of Johnson Roberts Associates. Repairs are necessary if we choose to stay in the current building for the next 10 to 20 years.


Each line item in the repair estimate document is described below and assigned to one of these categories:


  • Required. We have to do these repairs for safety, and should do them soon rather than waiting for systems to fail.
  • Basic maintenance. These should also be done, but can be delayed until the required repairs are done.
  • AAB. These repairs are required to meet the state’s Architectural Access Board (AAB) requirements. AAB requirements kick in when work exceeds 30% of the value of the building. The building is assessed at $6.4 million, so 30% is $1.9 million. See notes on accessibility at the bottom of this document and the AAB website has full details; see section 3, Jurisdiction.



Steps: Fix the front steps so they can be used.  (Basic maintenance)

Ramp: All entrances to the building must be accessible, so a ramp may be needed because the current approach is probably too steep. We would construct it where one of the sidewalks is. (AAB)



Repairs to the roof structure: will fix places where the roof sags due to the air conditioning units added after construction. (Required)


Handrails: Required along stairs inside the building and along mezzanine for accessibility and safety. (AAB)


Architectural woodwork

New service desks: Children’s, Reference and other service desks need to be made accessible. The Circulation desk is already done. (AAB)



Replace the flat roof: There is structural damage caused by the air conditioning units that were added after the building was constructed. (Required)


Repair the sloped slate roof. (Required)


Doors & windows

Storm windows: About 1/3 of the storms don’t open and close, so they need replacement. (Required)


Automatic door openers: This is one way to address AAB requirements, and it appears easier than the alternative, which is to make the doors open with (about) 5 pounds of pressure. (AAB)


Drywall & carpentry

Ceilings: After we put in fire suppression, lighting, mechanical systems, etc., we will have to replace the ceilings.



Carpeting: In some places, it is already 20 years old will need replacement, although not immediately. (In the Children’s room, carpeting is 5 – 10 years old). Without this, some areas will become tripping hazards. (Basic maintenance)


Tile flooring: This is cheaper than carpeting and will be used in some areas. The first floor hallway has asbestos tiles, which require abatement during removal. (Basic maintenance)



Interior walls: These will need painting during the next 10 years. (Basic maintenance)


Exterior trim: It must be painted occasionally to keep it from rotting. (Required)



Replace the elevator: Parts are hard to come by, it is too small for motorized wheelchairs and it has trapped patrons on two occasions. This requires a widening block shaft, some demolition of the slab, enlarging the pit, and installing new equipment. (Required)



Replace the HVAC system: It is beyond its useful life. There is limited space in the ceilings for ductwork, so it will continue to be partially central and partially local. (Required)


Plumbing: Redo toilet rooms for accessibility, including tearing up slabs and redoing plumbing. The one accessible bathroom is laid out incorrectly and needs to be changed. (While the small men’s and women’s bathrooms near the Assembly Room could be combined into a single accessible unisex bathroom, unisex bathrooms are not counted toward requirements of the plumbing code, and there’s no room to make two separate accessible ones.) (AAB)


New toilet rooms: This covers architectural work; plumbing is listed separately. (AAB)


Fire suppression system: We may have to add this based on what other work we do. It’s important beyond that because the building is full of books. (Basic maintenance)



New lighting: The lighting was reported to be past its useful life in 2005, but fixtures were updated for the ESSCO project. Fixtures are efficient, though still not sufficient to light the spaces well. (Basic maintenance)


New power: As reported in 2005, electrical service coming in to the building is inadequate. Internal power distribution (number and placement of outlets) is probably also inadequate. That causes people to string electrical cords everywhere, creating a tripping hazard. Electrical codes may be triggered with the other work.  (Required)



Data systems: The new Wellington is being built with Cat5E cables and wireless; the library currently has Cat5, so we may only have to put in more wireless service. (Basic)

Notes on the repair costs

These are estimates, not actual costs. No design or detailed analysis has been done yet. One assumption is that we do not close the library while making these repairs, although that may increase some costs.

The state’s Architectural Access Board rules must be met to get a building permit. If the work done during a 36-month period exceeds 30% of a building’s assessed value, the entire building must be made accessible. See the AAB regulations for details, especially Section 3, Jurisdiction (pdf).

The assessed value of the building is $6.4 million, so the 30% threshold is $1.9 million. Mandatory repairs easily exceed that threshold, so it seems that we must make the building accessible if we do the repairs needed to stay in the building.