The Clay Center Carnegie Library Board of Trustees retained consultants, Hans J. Fischer, AIA and Reed Engineering to undertake a building condition assessment of the present library building.
Consulting architect, Hans Fischer and engineer, Myron Reed, conducted the assessment, which included visiting the building to review building elements as set forth in an agreement executed May 9, 2007. The assessment included: review of available construction plans; review applicable elements of the building code of the American Disabilities Act; review of The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings; communications with the office of the State Historic Preservation Officer; taking photographs; identifying problem conditions in need of repair; replacement, and/or improvement; and, preparing estimates of probable cost for correcting the deficiencies identified. Plans of the original 1912 building, except insofar as some elements of this structure were shown on the available building documents, were not in possession of the library.
A May 2007 Needs Assessment, projected space requirements for the library for the current population of 4,500, and future projected populations of 5,000 and 6,000, to be 12,483, 14,528, and 17,380 gsf, respectively. The (minimum) Standards for Kansas Public Libraries, 2006 revision, recommend 8,200, 8,600, and 9,400 gsf, respectively. The present library building contains about 8,420 gsf.
The scope of corrective work described herein primarily addresses; (1) proceeding with deferred maintenance, (2) upgrading to code and the ADA, where feasible, (3) life safety improvements, (4) “cosmetic” upgrades, (5) improving energy efficiency, lighting and the comfort of the building occupants, (6) accommodating current technology, and (7) extending the existing southeast stairway up to the second floor, thereby allowing removal of the present fire escape. Some improvements to building functionality and to restoring original building elements have also been considered and proposed.
As an alternative, a 22′ x 35′, three story addition to the east side of the building is proposed that contains an entry lobby at ground level, stairway, elevator, restrooms, custodial space, storage rooms, and mechanical equipment rooms. By removing these elements from the present building, additional floor space assignable to library functions is created, while at the same time, resolving major ADA deficiencies.
The library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, major changes which may effect the historic character of the building are subject to review and approval by the State Historic Preservation Officer(SHPO). Therefore any modifications to the “historic fabric” of the building must be carefully considered and should fall within “The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings”. Over the years, a number of changes have been made. Some, that are not consistent with the original design, were completed before National Register status was granted in 1987.
Some of these changes include, for example; added electrical capacity, replacement of original lighting and heating systems, exterior fire escape, added restrooms, added elevator, added wheelchair lift, added entrance vestibules, added drop ceilings, storm windows, et al. Plans available at the library depicted renovation/upgrading projects undertaken in 1966, 1969, 1974, and 1983. Apparently other minor, undocumented work was also completed.
Estimates of probable cost for recommended corrective work and facility upgrading are based on costs published in Repair and Remodeling Cost Data, published by R. S. Means. Estimates of probable cost for several changes which would alter some spaces within the building to improve functionality have also been included herein, as are estimates for the proposed building addition. However, all these estimates are preliminary in nature, given that the rehabilitative work proposed herein is subject to review and approval by the SHPO.
As of 2013, there are no comprehensive building renovations planned. In 2012, the library was repainted. In the summer of 2013, new carpet was installed. The top floor of the library received new LED lighting in the latter part of 2013. The main floor and basement lighting was replaced in early 2014.