Community forum on the space needs of Ilsley Library, September 13, 2017

Architects’ final report


Fundraising Feasibility Study Request For Proposals

See the full RFP here.

The Town of Middlebury seeks proposals from qualified fundraising consultants to conduct a study of the feasibility of raising private funds for the renovation and expansion of Ilsley Public Library. The overall project is expected to cost between $8 and $11 million dollars, including renovation of the historic 1923 library, demolition of two additions, built respectively in 1977 and 1988, and the construction of a new addition of approximately 14,000 square feet. The study should determine how much capital can realistically be raised and in what duration of time. If the project moves forward, the consultant will be invited to propose a plan (including cost) of providing ongoing campaign counsel.



Answers to questions submitted by RFP respondents.

We are curious about your current development operations – staffing, # of donors, annual funds raised, fundraising methods utilized, volunteer/board members involved, etc.  Does the library currently have a fundraising program in place?  If so, how many donors are giving regular financial gifts and is there a major giving program in place?

The library has an active Friends group that fundraises through a book sale and an annual membership drive (200 members).  They raise about $20,000 per year, most of which goes to fund programs at the library.


Is the Friends Group the only fundraising entity for the Library? Have they raised funds from events, primarily? Annual mailing? Any major gifts work involving face to face asks? Does board do any fundraising? If so, what? And how many are active fundraisers?

There is no major gifts program in place, although the library does receive unsolicited bequests on occasion (typically in the $1,000-$10,000 range).  These funds are managed by the Ilsley Trustees, a five person board elected by Middlebury residents.  The board has not done any fundraising, although current board members have been recruited with the knowledge that fundraising would likely be a part of their efforts over the next several years.


When was your last capital campaign and what were the results of it (dollars raised, # of donors, timeframe)? Do you have records of donors and their gifts?

Our last capital campaign was in 1987-1988, to raise funds for a building addition.  It raised $175,000 from corporate and private donors (not sure of total number) over the span of a year, but was cut short when public funding for the remainder of the project was approved.  As of today, we do not have a record of donors and their gifts, but we are searching through old files in hopes of finding a record.


What in your opinion are the most compelling changes that will result from the project?

  • More dedicated spaces to serve children from preschool through high school. Four distinct, age-appropriate spaces that are unobstructed, well ventilated, safe, and naturally lit. 
  • Accessibility upgrades, including safe, inviting at-grade entrances from Main Street and the rear parking area; shelving that is easily reachable by those with mobility issues; and a modern, efficient elevator.
  • Enhanced spaces for computers, digital instruction, and media lab with updated wiring.
  • Efficient, reliable HVAC system to provide mechanical ventilation (there is none now) and to replace the hodge-podge heating systems and A/C units.
  • Structurally flexible building to accommodate evolving programmatic developments.


Has the Director (or other staff) been an active fundraiser for the library or other entity?

The director has worked with the Friends group to facilitate fundraising, and has also worked with unsolicited donors to process gifts.  He has not, however, been actively fundraising for a capital campaign nor has any other staff.


General initial impressions of the project from community members?

Generally, the public has been supportive after learning about the details of the project.  When people first hear that the 1988 addition will be removed and replaced, they are surprised.  When this decision is explained (no flexibility to re-adapt, not able structurally to change walls or floors there), and they see the new plans, they are excited.


What does the delta of $8-11M represent? Does it include soft costs and campaign admin/counsel?

The current overall estimate, including most soft costs, is currently $9.6 million dollars.  This does not include campaign counsel nor does it include FFE, nor does it include potential inflation related to the cost of construction.  The low figure, $8 million, would be if the cost of construction came down or the contingency was not utilizied.   For a detailed budget summary, see page 55 of:


Are contingencies built into the budget and if yes at what %?

15% contingency for the hard costs is built into the budget.



Has a preliminary case for support been developed?

No, although it is currently being developed.


The RFP in section 1.2 notes a predetermined donor list – has that been developed already? By whom?  Is it available at this phase? Do you have patrons/donors outside the geographic area?

It is in development, and will be available when the contract for the RFP is awarded.  It includes both Middlebury residents and those from surrounding communities.


According to RFP, 60% of project costs will be fundraised, so a capital campaign goal between $4.8 and 6.6m? Do these costs factor in a campaign budget of 7-12% of total? If so, has a budget been developed or is that part of the planning study scope, not stated?

These costs do not include a campaign budget yet, although there is a cushion of approximately 1.5 million dollars for non-specified soft costs.


Is it a predetermined factor that planning study consultants will be campaign consultants?

It is not, although we anticipate that the planning study consultants will be strongly encouraged to apply as campaign consultants should the project move forward.


Under deliverables, you request a Donor Prospect List, Campaign Leadership Prospect List, and Top Prospects for both.  However, our code of ethics and the requirement to keep interviewee identities anonymous precludes us from doing this.  How can we proceed?

This was meant to be asked in anticipation of the actual campaign, and not the feasibility study.  The library will supply a list of prospects to interview and we do not expect firms, at this stage, to provide any further prospect list from those interviews.


Draft Report from Library Building Committee and gbA Architects

See the draft here.

Note that this is still a work in progress and subject to change.



Ilsley Public Library Building Planning

After requesting qualifications and reviewing proposals, the Joint Library-Selectboard Building Committee hired Gossens-Bachman Architects to create a preliminary design and cost estimate for meeting the future space needs of Ilsley Library.  Please check back here often to review progress on the project and to learn about opportunities for providing input.

Ilsley Library Mission and Guiding Principles


Tentative Schedule

Task 1: Project Initiation and Background Material-Fact Finding, Program Development

September 21 – October 21, 2016

  • Initial programming discussions
  • Outline project goals, parameters, building performance goals
  • Structural, mechanical and electrical consultant reviews
  • Develop detailed project schedule

Task 2: Community Input – Meeting #1 Goals and Vision

November 10th, 2016 – 6:30 to 8:30 at the Ilsley Library Community Meeting Room.

  • Prepare graphic materials necessary for a public forum
  • Meeting to bring community into the process

Task 3: Design Concepts and Preliminary Budgets

November 11 to December 16, 2016

  • Prepare 3 alternative design concepts with preliminary budgets
  • Develop 1 of the design concepts into a final direction

Task 4: Code and Permit Review

December 16 to December 23, 2016

  • Thorough code review of design concept chosen
  • Permit identification

Task 5: Interface with State Division of Historic Preservation

December 26 to January 6, 2017

  • Coordinate with Division of Historic Preservation for design concept chosen

Task 6: Community Input – Meeting #2 Design Opportunities

Schedule between January 13 and January 20,  2017

  • Prepare graphic materials necessary for a public forum
  • Meeting with community to look at favored design concept to identify issues and opportunities

Task 7: Refinement of Final Design Approach

January 20 to February 20, 2017

  • Design team incorporates all input from Ilsley staff, committee and community to formulate a final design

Task 8: Report

February 20 to March 1, 2017

  • Assemble all findings in a bound report that includes recommendations, preliminary plans reflective of the program, description of systems and anticipated construction budget

Task 9: Support

March 2, 2017

  • Provide graphic materials and preparation of informational brochures
  • Support and provide necessary documentation to assist in fundraising, bond votes, grants, etc.