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Friday, October 5, 2012

Back Story on the Baldwin Library and The Joint Library Building Committee December 2011-September 2012

In December of 2011 as  "mandate"  to the Library's 2011-2013 Strategic Plan, Library Doug Koschik plans for a library (Baldwin Library Considering Expansion Options. City of Bloomfield Hills Blog 12/19/11). On Dec 22nd this publication reported (Baldwin Library Presentation of Proposed  Building Plans  by Fanning Howley and Victor Saroki. City of Bloomfield Hills Blog 12/122/11).

The two proposals were intended to be dramatic and different conversation starters. Fanning Howley was a more modest  upgrade and re-arrangement. The Victor Saroki Plan was complete make over. Both  caught the eye and interest of the Birmingham City Commission.

On January 12th 2012 at the City Commission Annual Long Range Planning  meeting both presentations were given and politely listened to with appropriate questions. The worst outcome would be that nothing would happen. The best outcome would be an invitation for further discussion.(Baldwin Library remodel piques Birmingham City Commission's interest. Meeting with City Manager to follow. Joint Library-City Commission exploratory sub committee a possibility. City of Bloomfield Hills Blog January 12th 2002
On Feb 16thThe City of Bloomfield Hills Blog  reported  that The Baldwin Public Library Board and the Birmingham City Commission agree that it is time to explore the future of the Baldwin Public Library building.

The objectives of the Joint Building Committee were and are:

1. To develop a timeline for the work listed below. 
2. To clarify the responsibilities of the Library Board and City Commission in the building 
renovation and/or expansion process. 
3. To determine, through benchmarking and other studies, where Baldwin currently stands in relationship to public library best practices, and to undertake an analysis of probable future library trends and how they will affect library building utilization and 
4. To develop, through public input, a consensus on what kind of Library the citizens of 
Birmingham need, want, and are willing to pay for. 
5. To consider the role of the Baldwin Library’s three contract communities in this process. 
6. To list the most critical features that will appear in the updated building. 
7. From the above information, to determine which path is more desirable:   
A. A renovation of the building’s current footprint, or  
B. An expansion of the building, or 
C. A combination of the two 
The selected plan might or might not resemble either of the plans already sketched out 
and presented to the public. 
8. To recommend the appropriate method of obtaining professional assistance to develop the building plan fully. 
9. To explore funding options for the building plan and make a recommendation on which option(s) to pursue.  The funding options may include, but are not limited to, current Library and City millages and cash reserves, a new voter-approved millage, and private fundraising. 10. By December 2012, to present to the Baldwin Public Library Board and the Birmingham City Commission a set of recommendations on how to proceed. 

                                                           Front from left: Sheila Brice, Andrew Harris, James W. Suhay

                                                          Back from left: David Underdown, Frank Pisano, Bob Tera.

On March 21st 2012 three members of the Birmingham City Commission (Rackeline Hoff, Scott Moore, and Gordon Rinschler,) all former Mayors met with the Baldwin Library Board.  Technically the Birmingham Commissioners met with the three member Baldwin Building  which consisted of David Underdown, Frank Pisano and James W. Suhay.The latter was later elected as Chairman of the Joint Library Building Committee. Although new  to the Library Board (elected  November 2011) he was active in  many civic functions and his selection as JLBC had much to do with his knowledge of data collection  and surveys which was to be the board's first task. 

 In addition Board  members Shelia Brice and Bob Tera volunteered their and input, in addition to their other board assgnments to assist the JLBC.

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