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  #201  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 1:11 PM
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Edit library plans, McCluskey says

Councillor calls proposal too lavish
By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE City Hall Reporter
Wed. Jan 6 - 4:46 AM / Chronicle Herald


Facing a cash crunch, Halifax Regional Municipality should scale down plans for its new central library, a veteran councillor said Tuesday.

Coun. Gloria McCluskey (Dartmouth Centre) said the proposed building, expected to cost about $55 million, is too big and too rich for the municipality’s blood due to the challenging financial situation city hall is coping with.

She said annual operating costs, to be covered by the city, would be less with a smaller library that is also cheaper to build.

"We could do everything we want to do if we had the money," Ms. McCluskey told The Chronicle Herald. "If we had all kinds of money — great — but we don’t."

The 109,000-square-foot project is to house a larger book collection and is being promoted as a community centre that will attract people who may not often use libraries. It’s to be built at the corner of Queen Street and Spring Garden Road.

In October, the federal, provincial and municipal governments announced a funding plan for the proposed library. Ottawa said it would cover one-third of the cost, up to $18.3 million. The province is expected to kick in $13 million, with city hall contributing $23.7 million.

Regional council will be debating the city’s 2010-11 budget this spring. Municipal finance staff are projecting expenses will exceed revenues by $30 million in the next fiscal year, although Mayor Peter Kelly has said that figure will probably be lower by the time money talks begin.

Coun. Dawn Sloane (Halifax Downtown) said Ms. McCluskey’s viewpoint is off base.

"I don’t think that the building is too grand," Ms. Sloane said. "The concept of libraries these days has changed over the years."

Construction on the development is to start this year or next.

Ms. McCluskey stressed that she supports a new central library, but said the municipality can’t afford one that includes such planned features as a 250-seat auditorium and cafe.

Referring to the library’s eatery, Ms. McCluskey asked: "Why should we be in competition with businesses on Spring Garden Road?"

The Spring Garden Road library opened in the 1950s and has more than 228,000 titles.

Municipal leaders have been discussing a replacement for the old library for about 12 years. Ms. Sloane said now is not the time to be switching gears and building something smaller or cheaper.

The dollar figure attached to the proposed main branch replacement has increased over the years.

In 2004, the plan called for a 110,000-square-foot development costing about $25 million. Then, a 140,000-square-foot project was in the works for about $35 million.
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  #202  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 4:41 PM
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shouldnt they have known how much money they had to spend in the first place,
and why would you want to down size something when its downtown, this is where the big expensive things should be.

Referring to the library’s eatery, Ms. McCluskey asked: "Why should we be in competition with businesses on Spring Garden Road?"
isnt that what spring gardens for??

i saw this article earlier and some of the comments were just stupid,
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  #203  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 5:37 PM
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What they build will be the library here for decades to come and there is provincial and federal money committed to the project. Going cheap now is short-term thinking that makes no sense. Let's get on with it already.
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  #204  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 6:32 PM
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Mccluski shood stick to what she now's best



making dartmouth the beautiful place that it is
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  #205  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 7:46 PM
sdm sdm is offline
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Got to admit she has a point looking at the numbers.

55,000,000.00 cost to build

109,000 square feet in size

= $505.00 per square foot to build (excluding land cost)

2004

25,000,000.00 cost to build

110,000 square feet in size

= 227.27 square feet to build

35,000,000

140,000 square feet to build

=250 per square foot.

The new price is probably double what the new proposed office building down town are costing.
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  #206  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 7:57 PM
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I think it's about time the city invested in some hardware in the central city that everyone in HRM, in addition to visitors, can use and enjoy. A good central library is such a basic urban amenity that it seems a no brainer to actually make it a good, multifunctional structure with quality design and materials. HRM has for so long thrown money at infrastructure in far flung places, not to mention the millions spent on the aborted commonwealth bid. They really owe it to the citizens of Halifax to sort the books out (perhaps by cutting down on consultant fees!) and doing a good job with this project.
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  #207  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 8:16 PM
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A small auditorium and cafe are McCluskey's idea of "lavish"? The cafe should even at least pay for itself..
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  #208  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 9:58 PM
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Gloria is absolutely right. This has been a gold-plated project from the start and is a monument to Judith Hare's ego. Aside from the capital cost implications there are huge implications for future operating budgets that will have to support this thing year after year. I have no problem with a proper facility -- but I remain unconvinced that this is it.
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  #209  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 10:01 PM
downtowndawn downtowndawn is offline
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costs of library

Gloria should watch what she says. The Woodlawn Library is being moved in to a huge space, perhaps Council should trim that back.... and perhaps take back the blank cheque for the heritage musuem? She should not cast stones unless she is willing to cut progress in other parts of the municipality, like in , um Dartmouth.

This library is so desparately needed! A small cafe is not going to bankrupt the businesses on Spring Garden.
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  #210  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Build even bigger! A central library is essential to the health of the downtown. The current main branch on Spring Garden is far from sufficient. If done right, there are lots of ways to ensure this is not a drain on the city in the future. Although I'm not certain that those making the final decisions are capable of looking at this as anything more than a library, when in reality it can be so much more.
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  #211  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtowndawn View Post
Gloria should watch what she says. The Woodlawn Library is being moved in to a huge space, perhaps Council should trim that back.... and perhaps take back the blank cheque for the heritage musuem? She should not cast stones unless she is willing to cut progress in other parts of the municipality, like in , um Dartmouth.

This library is so desparately needed! A small cafe is not going to bankrupt the businesses on Spring Garden.
Don't be ridiculous (and I know that's hard). Point by point:

1. Why are you pitting area versus area constantly? One of the biggest problems for our dysfunctional council is regional parochialism. You are one of the constant voices in those discussions. Why?

2. The museum has nothing to do with the library discussion -- unless you are committed to divvying up the cash pie according to geography. Grow up.

3. Woodlawn library (ever been there?) is a poor joke at present. They are moving it to rented space in a former movie theater. That decision was made by the same chief librarian who has been pushing for her gold-plated palace on SGR and Queen for years. Hardly an equitable sitaution.

4. I fail to understand why everyone focuses on the silly cafe. One hopes that HRM bureaucrats will not be behind the counter, and that instead if such a space exists, that it be put out to bids. Regardless, the need is questionable at best.


None of the rhetoric addresses the essential question: how has Judith Hare managed to railroad this thing to this point without any real critical discussion? And what operating budget implications are there for such a vastly expanded facility that the taxpayer will be forced to bear for decades to come? If you and your fellow council members were doing their jobs properly, you would be asking those kinds of questions instead of cheerleading for your district while razzing others.
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  #212  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 12:27 AM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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I wonder Keith, if anybody else was CEO of HPL and proposed this, would you be calling it a gold-plated monument to their ego, or is this all just a personal gripe against Hare?
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  #213  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hfx_chris View Post
I wonder Keith, if anybody else was CEO of HPL and proposed this, would you be calling it a gold-plated monument to their ego, or is this all just a personal gripe against Hare?

All depends on whether they railroaded the process the way she has. I don't know the woman, so it isn't personal -- but have observed her methods during the course of this process.
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  #214  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:25 AM
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Keith,
You never have liked my pov on anything and I don't expect you ever will and frankly I think you are a bullish person that probably has something against women. Perhaps you should go into therapy.
Dawn
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  #215  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:41 AM
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And this is why nothing gets done in the city, same thing that is happening on these forums happens with the council, like a bunch of kids at a playground fighting for that 1 swing.
Anyone with the brains for politics, has the brains not to go in it as the saying goes.
But given that, I do agree with the cost seeming a little high, doesn't HRM already own the land that this is to be built on anyway?
High rises go up for 70 million bucks, on the small side, a doubt that this libary will be a small highrise, just a prefab building.
One thing that I do like is that hopefully this will go foreword, and that the old libary gets turned into a history museum, things that that is what these corners need.
I just wish everyone would stop bitching and do something about it, progress, what do you want to be remembered for, people who saved POS buildings that are falling down cause no one wants to be in them because of the limited space, or something big that generations will look at in halifax down the road and see. "Erected in 2010 by HRM taxpayers"
I know I want stuff to get erected.
Tee hee.
Rant over.
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  #216  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:48 AM
downtowndawn downtowndawn is offline
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Here is the link to the facebook group re: the old library
http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?i...d=158601501382

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalNinja View Post
And this is why nothing gets done in the city, same thing that is happening on these forums happens with the council, like a bunch of kids at a playground fighting for that 1 swing.
Anyone with the brains for politics, has the brains not to go in it as the saying goes.
But given that, I do agree with the cost seeming a little high, doesn't HRM already own the land that this is to be built on anyway?
High rises go up for 70 million bucks, on the small side, a doubt that this libary will be a small highrise, just a prefab building.
One thing that I do like is that hopefully this will go foreword, and that the old libary gets turned into a history museum, things that that is what these corners need.
I just wish everyone would stop bitching and do something about it, progress, what do you want to be remembered for, people who saved POS buildings that are falling down cause no one wants to be in them because of the limited space, or something big that generations will look at in halifax down the road and see. "Erected in 2010 by HRM taxpayers"
I know I want stuff to get erected.
Tee hee.
Rant over.
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  #217  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 2:04 AM
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Keith is prolly a reject from de movie grumpy old man
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  #218  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 2:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtowndawn View Post
Here is the link to the facebook group re: the old library
http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?i...d=158601501382
Not bringing it up, odd.
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  #219  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 2:34 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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I am all for a history museum. I don't see how anyone could be against it.
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  #220  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 4:22 AM
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i agree, what better place for such a museum then a memorial that looks historic itself, sure we have the museum of natural history but it would be nice to have one dedicated to the city or province itself.
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