Rendition of new library

Rendition of new library
The New Point Roberts Library Out of the Old Julius Firehall

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Good News, the Less Good News

Well, let's start with the good news: as of January 1, 2016, we have raised $540,680, slightly more than the original goal of $538,000.  So, hoorays all round for the funders of all kinds, the fundraisers, the FOPRL people, the WCLS people, and the spirits of the world that love libraries.  This goal was set in April, 2012, in the Feasibility Study prepared by Bellingham architect, David King.  [A copy of that Study is on our webpage:]  We have always known that the final cost estimates would be higher than that number, but there would be no way of our knowing how much higher because of inevitable uncertainties about inflationary pressures and about possible difficulties with the site.

The final cost estimates were reported to FOPRL in early January and the gap between those costs and the funds we had raised was considerably higher than we had expected, largely because of (1) problems with the existing building slab, (2) higher inflation costs, (3) increased electrical costs, and (4) design additions that had been added over the 4-year fundraising period (the kind of "wouldn't it be nice if we had..." additions).

We had expected the January 12th meeting with the architect would allow us to discuss with Mr. King how to address some of these problems and their accompanying costs.  However, because of the limited time (one hour immediately followed by a meeting with the Community Advisory Committee evaluating the design in terms of the Point Roberts Character Plan), and the large number of people present, we were unable to do this.

So we've got another meeting set up on January 22 in Bellingham to do that.  Two of us from FOPRL will be joined by David King, by two Park & Rec representatives, and by Christine Perkins of WCLS.  After that meeting, we'll have some better idea of the actual costs we're facing.  Then, we'll have a public meeting to explain more fully what the design will encompass, how much it is likely to cost, and how we will address those costs, including the gap.  We at FOPRL are confident that we are moving ahead on this project and that a new and beautiful library will be in our near future.

Judy Ross
--for Friends of the Point Roberts Library