As Chair of the Library Building Committee, I must correct erroneous information provided by Mr. Brian Austin of the Committee for a Smaller Library, which was included in the November 15 Community Advocate Article entitled Next Step for Library Renovations Approved at Shrewsbury Town Meeting. Mr. Austin states that “the proposed Shrewsbury Library project would cost “$466 per square foot 50 percent per square foot more than comparable town libraries.”
The Board of Library Commissioners, the agency which administers the Massachusetts Library Construction Grant Program, has provided a chart of square footage costs for all the libraries in the 2010-2011 Construction Grant Round. From that chart, you will find that Shrewsbury's Construction Cost is $335.00 per square foot. The Total Project Cost (which includes construction, design fees, and other “soft” costs) is $344.00 per square foot. This chart establishes that the average square footage Construction Cost in this grant program is $338.21 and the average Total Project Cost is $441.56 per square foot.
Contrary to Mr. Austin's statement that Shrewsbury's costs “compared unfavorably to similar libraries” the proposed Library Project actually falls below average costs, not 50 percent more.
Clay Benjamin Smook, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C,
Library Building Committee