Today’s headline: Library moving date could face revision. Opening may be pushed back a week.
One of the public works projects that The Principality has saddled its taxpayers with is the new resplendent Public Library. Appropriately, the new library was scheduled to open on April Fool’s Day; March 21 was the scheduled moving date, but it has been changed to March 28, since, according to the article, “the library is awaiting its temporary Certificate of Occupancy”. The opening date would then be April 8.
(Temporary CO?). No explanation is given as to why the CO is on hold (or why it is temporary).
The library is presently at The Principality Shopping Center, where you can find any materials you may need if your needs are modest (what you would expect from a local public library), in a perfectly adequate space that was formerly occupied by two bookstores. It is small, conveniently located next to the gym and the supermarket, and, most importantly, there’s plenty of free parking space. Conveniently enough that the number of visitors increased by 25% in the new location.
The new library was expected to cost $12million when it was first proposed, but by now the number is $18-19million.
The library originally anticipated a December 2003 opening but a survey error resulted in the installation of footing 6 inches lower than called for in design plans and the opening date was set back to February of this year. Construction then suffered from harsh winter weather that forced the library to push back the opening date again.
The new building is big, located downtown in the middle of prime commercial real estate, where parking is either not available or to be found in the soon-to-be-completed parking-building-built-on-the-stream.
I called the Shopping Center management office and was told that the amount of the current monthly rent “is not public information”. A quick Google search showed that the rent is estimated at $20,000/month, and, may I point out, in a commercial space for which the landlord takes care of the maintenance and pays taxes to the community. Compare that to the $75,000/month (my estimate: 5% interest divided by 12 months x $18,000,000) debt service, which doesn’t include maintenance costs, for a building that will never pay taxes, on a prime location. Another question also arises, since the parking building’s grand opening was scheduled to take place in tandem with the Library’s, does this mean the parking building’s opening will be delayed further, so there’s no parking revenue that week?
Still, the article assures us “if the extra time is required, it is not likely to exceed the library’s project budget”.
“Not likely”. Let’s hope.