Canterbury, NH Building Needs Committee - 2001

Minutes of Meeting
– November 12, 2002–
(as reported by Secretary Billie Richert)



Meeting November 12, 2002 at 7:00 PM at the Parish House


Kent Ruesswick, Chairman

Beth Blair
Kevin Bragg – Historical District Commission
Charlie Cook
Bob Fife
Gordon Jackson
Ken Jordan
Ginger LaPlante – Historical District Commission
Billie Richert
Jeremy Slayton
Ted West

Tom Burke, Sheerr McCrystal Palson (SMP)
Eric Paulson, SMP

Library Committee Members:
John Bouton
Susan LeClair
Claudia Leidenger
Judy Nelson
Anne Nute
Hank Turco


Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. He began the meeting by introducing the architects to the library committee members. Kent informed them that SMP were working on the Town Hall addition; that the CTBN had negotiated with Mr. Robinson for the five (5) acres and that this was moving forward; and that SMP have been working on a municipal building to combine the fire, police and highway departments on this new acreage. The CTBN had met with the department heads last week. It now made sense to meet with the library committee members and to begin talks about the building that remains and where the CTBN members see the library going.

The Chairman then asked each CTBN member to comment on the library:

Jeremy – When things wrapped up last year, question remained where the library could go. It was up in air if we had it at Sam Lake site. Believes it is better to have a pedestrian center here and what would happen to the Sam Lake building. Currently looking at fire and highway departments moving out then we could have space for library here and can keep it in the pedestrian center. Natural place for library to have in this location as there is more space for the library. Can we find away to make space work for the library?

Bob – I’ve been back and forth on this. Fire department moving out; would like to see library there but not a 100% until all data is in. I would like to see little library (building) more centralized.

Charlie – I second keeping library on this side; property on top of hill has changed scope of what we can do with town center. Now that this is done, can put library in one building.

Gordon – On this side of street.

Kevin – Impact on village setting; need for a lot of parking. Having on other side of town center and down the road when someone is doing expansion fifty years down the road. Realized need for library expansion something must be done in building. Small building should stay there but where new library is would be better in town center. Issue of kids walking – school on that side is a concern but someone is crossing regardless. Must be addressed either way. Overall, like to explore this side of road.

Ginger – I like it where it is. I’m on the library committee; no other place to put new building is needed, if this building (existing fire and highway department) is used for library.

Claudia – 75% of 200 people would like it to remain where it is. Makes sense to add on to existing library. We have land; can change access. I’m concerned we will be back to asking for money.

Beth – Time frame is crucial. I’m most outspoken to keep library where it is, but why I’ve changed somewhat is the idea of library, historical society and town hall close together; worth looking at. Find a use for Elkins Library building if library is not there. What we are trying to do is build to everyone needs. It’s worth looking at; such a vital part of town – becomes more vibrant. Elkins Library is so beautiful would most likely not be empty for long. I’m not 100%; can’t make library (needs) wait a long time.

Anne – Timeline is important; survey taken shows people want the library to stay where it is.

John – I’d like to hear plans before I weigh in.

Sue – Do we know survey and results?

Kent – We do not.

Sue – Two important questions were asked – stay where it is – 75% of about 200 respondents said leave library site where it is. At that time, we were not aware Sam Lake site was an option.

Claudia – 75% warranted expanding current site.

Sue – Important to look at fact people are attached to library unless you have another option for use of library. People say ‘you’re kidding’ when are told library may be moved. May not be an easy sale. We have land; better access now to expand out back up hill with parking in back. Last thing, timing, no way to just pop us in there. Big bond to build everything we have proposed.

Judy – Sale of property to put new complex is a done deal?

Kent – Purchase and sale agreement on it.

Judy – Contingent on it being passed? Cost – what kind of bond for that kind of building?

Kent – Tried to figure out pieces of the puzzle; no numbers yet.

Judy - Anyone gone to Pembroke?

Kent – We want to get plans together and then get options such as the garage – tear down or rebuild garage.

Judy – Numbers will be major issue when you go to town meeting.

Beth – Big issue.

Kevin – Committee to come up with options – spend nothing; get most of what you want; or the maximum of what you want. We want to explore every option to present to town.

Beth – Time line for public meetings to get additional input on surveys.

Kent – End of December for public meetings

Ginger – Don’t you need two (2) meetings for bonds?

Kent – That’s another issue.

Hank – Expanding existing offices (in Sam Lake House) – I haven’t heard anything.

Kent – Selectmen want to stay in Sam Lake House and to upgrade existing building. Will make some repairs necessary using Sam Lake’s money for that.

Jeremy – Other consideration of Sam Lake as other buildings come on line – needed space in Sam Lake will be available for additional office space.

Gordon – Would like to have one bond issue and not have four (4) separate bond issues.

Claudia – Do you have to build all in one year?

Gordon – No

Claudia – Issue of borrowing costs versus interest earned on monies?

Kevin – School will come knocking eventually.

Ginger – School is at capacity it was built for.

John – Can’t float a super bond. That’s what selectmen said last year.

Charlie – Reinvest portion not used immediately.

Gordon – Only bond amount you need each year; authorized for larger amount.

Charlie – I wonder how many people know Sam Lake property versus house in survey?

Kent – What I’ve asked architects is to reuse building – if this doesn’t work – rebuild will be looked at.

Eric – Presents an opportunity your group can have as to use of building. As soon as complex is built; older building becomes available.

Tom – Describe revised square footage.

Eric – Large portion of land (existing town center) not available that we are trying to address. Independent of library, we are trying to address access; pretty hazardous intersections; large curb cut. Way to straighten out circulation (within and around town center).

Judy – What about parking for church?

Eric – There is parking for church.

Eric then showed a picture of the existing municipal building (fire and highway departments) with another picture showing an overlay of potential remodeling of this existing space. This picture showed the smaller, existing police department building attached to the existing municipal building via a breezeway. In addition, Eric showed the plans reflecting parking at Sam Lake building; walkway connecting to Historical Society building; and Town Hall with addition.

Eric – Garage looks entirely different with these renovations. Seems next step could just remove police; but connect police department building to have same electrical system and with less pavement; total of about 8000 square feet with entrance facing Historical Society. Building could also have another use if not used as library; or you can knock down the entire building.

Beth – How much parking do you have?

Eric – What do you average on Sunday?

Charlie – 40 cars.

Eric – No problem getting 40 as shown. Keep parking under control for keeping green.

Kevin – You wouldn’t need paved parking for big events?

Eric – No. Very tough little knot you have here; circle in front of store, etc. With plans as shown, church lost a little land in front but it was pavement. Center Road is primary road; preference should be given to traffic on this road; plans move road closer to cemetery.

Ginger – Can’t touch elm tree.

Eric – Thought to give town greener and friendlier feel – slower pace; walking not zipping. Try to eliminate 3 point turnaround parking.

John – How are we selling 6000 feet; we couldn’t sell 4000 feet?

Kent – Here we have more than you are asking for; if we can get the price to be less than what you were asking – the better.

Eric – What does space lend itself to? Meeting space? Sam Lake House is charming but small.

Kent – Make a recreation center for kids.

Beth – How much space?

Eric – 2000 square feet in existing police station.

Beth – Way to add cupola?

Eric – Yes, if you remove couple of trusses.

Hank – Great emphasis to keep town center the town center. Logical place for police department is to keep it in town center and fire and highway departments in cornfield. Why are you not keeping police department in town center?

Eric – Combining allows departments to be available 24 hours a day sharing facilities; resident can contact anyone from all three departments; I did bring plan of what Safety Complex might look like.

Eric then distributed copies of the proposed Safety Complex.

Sue – Issue of traffic and protecting children. Small town – doesn’t happen a lot but can.

Eric – Where it is now – more of an issue with pedestrians. Officials last week felt keeping school close by helped the fire and police department in responding.

Jeremy – Medical response for aged housing is a concern. Sort of a wash; volunteers are from same area; either way, people are flying by school.

Sue – How do we get around Historical District requirements?

Kevin – Not a problem until we see plans.

Kent – Gwen said it would help them if police department location closer to school.

John – Where is complex on plans as part of overall master plan?

Kent – Five years down the road in master plan.

John – So, behind library?

Kent – Bringing this together as a package; would not expect library to wait 5 or 10 years.

Ken – It is a total simultaneous solution. With cornfield becoming available, it took three things all at once; didn’t exist five years ago.

Claudia – Location for library is a red herring.

Ken – People did not see value.

Claudia – We got 55% - we needed 2/3 (votes to pass new library building resolution). Where do we fit in to total plan? When? Are you going to town this year?

Kent – Yes.

Claudia – It’s hard – we have the land.

Kevin – You do not have the money unless town will foot bill. People need to understand what do I get for the money.

Claudia – You have to convince a lot of people. Are you going to town this year?

Kent – Yes.

John – Are we to approve this plan?

Kent – we would like you to walk in with us when the plan is presented.

Kevin – Helps if we do it all at once.

Jeremy – Get everyone pointed in same direction.

Claudia – I would like to know the cost of renovating the existing building to meet our needs is less cost than what we have planned already. Existing (municipal) building is not a nice building. We need more information.

Kevin – Let’s look at possibilities.

Claudia – We need a 2-way street. I haven’t gotten a lot of information on costs.

Sue – No great savings in renovating existing space.

Claudia – If simultaneous – more room for growth.

Ginger – Some votes were lost because Committee (library) and Town selectmen were divided on (last year’s) vote.

Judy – All selectmen – most supported effort.

Kent – I wish Mike were here. At this point, selectmen were in favor in proceeding as a super bond issue. Mike has already been at almost all our meetings.

Gordon – We were not ready last year to address needs of all buildings.

Judy – Has there been a discussion to get something like this in the hands of the voting public in town?

Kevin – Three weeks literally we didn’t know about cornfield. Need to get it out in advance of town meeting.

Ginger – Should have mailing.

John – Do we have 4500 square feet?

Kent – You have 4500 plus 1500 storage in existing library.

John – Seems it is conceivable if we have the space we need.

Eric – Need to look and plusses and minuses in the building. This is not a two- story building.

Ginger - Issue of moisture?

Eric – Can control.

Sue – Climate control for library is an issue.

Eric – Not an issue for concrete building.

Eric – All systems in building will be new.

John – Do you return with plans like this? Where do we go – architectural plans?

Kent – I’d like to tell him (Eric) to do plans for library.

Eric – Feedback loop is needed.

Sue – Do you have any idea – have you seen our plans?

Eric – I’ve seen them.

Sue – Any cost savings?

Eric – Potential – result of many incremental decisions you make as a community.

Sue – Fair to say same amount of money?

Eric – No you can’t say that. 15% of value in structure; 85% in systems and windows, etc. Adaptive use is not foreign territory for us. You’ve rejected the notion to move building.

Kent – How much to move?

Eric – Closer to $10,000.

Eric – If sentimental for building, why I ask.

Claudia – How much to move it?

Eric – We moved a church in Danbury 150 yards – no power lines involved; closer to $10,000 than $100,000.

Kent – What is the feeling of the group?

John – Give us a week.

Kent – One week less we have.

Ken – Garage and/or garage site – but is location ok?

Ginger – Can they work with their own architect?

Kent – No.

Eric – A schematic drawing of your needs.

Hank – Cement floor in those buildings must be awful – full of oil.

Kent – Pour over them – bring up level.

Hank – Handicap ramp?

Kent – All level.

Eric - Prudent to have someone in environment engineering to look at space.

Sue – Float floor – skim bottom – pour new concrete.

Claudia – Any fuel tank storage ( in existing building)?

Kent – No, nothing inside building – no inground storage.

Ginger – What would you put on floor?

Eric – Carpet for example.

Charlie – That would be the quietest.

Hank – Can we go visit together some place for a few minutes?

The Library representatives then left the meeting to discuss among themselves the plan for moving the library to the existing Sam Lake site. The Chairman then discussed business from last week’s meeting to obtain bids on the Town Hall addition and that he was meeting with another bidder the next day. Beth wanted to know how quickly Committee could obtain numbers for the new proposed complex and Kent stated he thought in about two weeks.

The Library representatives returned and Kent asked what had been decided.

Claudia – For the good of the town, we would certainly go there (existing Sam Lake site) if less money than our current site. If this is presented this year, we’d like to be in favor to go into that spot.

Kent – Can you do this for next week?

Eric – For quick turnaround, I’ll use the other plans if that is ok.

Claudia – We were building for 15 years rather than 25.

Hank – Go by previous year’s plans.

Eric – Doesn’t make sense to not use all the space for library. Can show stack space but not what is in space. 6000 square feet does not include old police building.

Kent – Meeting at 7:00 next Tuesday; please come back to join us.

Hank – Purpose of meeting?

Eric – Why should entire committee be there?

Hank – Why have the CTBN involved with the library internals?

Eric – Much more of a working session.

Sue – You are going to work on detail – I have a conflict next week.

Beth – This will give you an idea of cost?

Eric – Not the perfect library but a start for discussion.

Claudia – I have a conflict also.

Kent – Then meeting next Thursday at 7:00 to accommodate schedule; CTBN to meet at 7:30 to discuss results of earlier meeting between Eric and library representatives. CTBN members can attend earlier meeting but please no input until our 7:30 meeting.

Kent – If we can have your emails Jeremy will send you location.

Chairman adjourned meeting at 8:55 p.m.


Thursday, November 21, 2002 at Parish House
7:00 p.m. Architects meeting with Library representatives
7:30 p.m. Regularly scheduled committee meeting

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