How Do We Get Started?

The early establishment of a building committee should be a priority. A consultant from OLIS will meet with the library director and the members of the building committee and/or library board to discuss and answer any questions regarding the state construction reimbursement program. The library building consultant and the architect can also be included in this process, once they have been hired.

When the preliminary building program has been completed, it's time for the architect to develop a schematic design, matching her or his vision to the building program and the site. Once this design has been developed, a professional cost estimate should be obtained. The proposed design and the preliminary cost estimate should be reviewed by the building committee and presented to the library board and local officials for their approval. At this point the library can file its initial application for construction funding with OLIS (see Appendix A). All of the information requested in the application may not be available at this time, but the information in the application can be updated at any time as the project moves along. Continuing communication with all of the stakeholders, including OLIS, is essential to the success of the project. Local community members need to know about the plans for the library, and to see what it might look like. The building committee should begin displaying large-scale copies of the drawings, and possibly a model of the proposed building, in the library as well as other places in the community where lots of people will get to see them. This is also the time to begin planning local fundraising and bond issue efforts.

Once the Office of Library and Information Services has indicated its intent to participate in the project, the process of developing working drawings and construction documents can begin. As they are developed, the architect should review the working drawings with the library director and staff, the library building consultant, local/state building inspectors, the fire marshall, other public officials, and the staff member at OLIS who will be working with the project. The more opportunities there are for both feedback and involvement in the process, the better the final result will be.

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