Design Competition Resources


Questions should be sent in writing to Judith Harris, at Answers to all questions will be posted to the FAQ section of this webpage (emails will not be responded to directly).




Questions and answers will be posted here on an ongoing basis.

By asking the teams to note “by whom the cost estimates are prepared,” it makes the team identity of the submissions known. Is the Ilsley team okay with this?

We agree that specific ID of an estimator could inadvertently reveal the identity of the submitter.  A sufficient response to that question can say something descriptive or generic like "professional estimator" or "in house".

(post date July 3, 2023)

Is the “Old Adult Material” material that needs to be stored or material that needs to be accessed?

These are books as well as tapes, CDs, DVDs, and likely forms of media that will become less relevant as time moves forward, but for which many folks still have the devices on which to play them.

From Dana: “The only thing I might add is that adult old materials refers to any adult books/dvds etc that are over a year old (measured from date of purchase, not publication). They make up the bulk of the adult circulating collection. “

From the Program:

The adult collection encompasses three lines of area from different parts of the existing floor plan: Adult Collection @ 950 sf, Adult Collection @ 1,432 sf, and Adult Media @ 320 sf. Totals of ALL ADULT OLD MATERIALS essentially remains the same from existing to proposed square footages.

(post date June 21, 2023)

Is the welcome desk and the public service desk the same thing? The program document only lists a public service desk so we are assuming that they are the same thing.

If the reference is to the Welcome Desk in grey-tone under the MAIN ENTRY / LOBBY section of the PROGRAMMING STUDY dated July 14, 2022 and the Public Service Desk in Black under the Adult Services section of that same study, they are NOT the same thing. The Welcome Desk in the first section was part of a concept of a Common Lobby in a shared circumstance with toilet rooms, stairs, elevator, and perhaps even a social services office. See also previous question with Post Date of June 9.

The Public Service Desk is for staff within the library proper – the desk / counter plus the area behind the desk where staff greets the public and conducts tasks associated with that interface.

The IPL service lobby is the area in front of the desk as the public enters the library.

The net square feet GRAND TOTAL toward the bottom of the June 14 program of 16,962 includes only the colored PROPOSED NET SF subtotals from the far right-hand column of numbers. Therefore, the Conceptual Common Lobby is excluded from our “PROJECTED = NET x 1.3 of 22,051” as well as our “add for growth 10%? …For a Grand Total of …24,256”

(post date June 21, 2023)

For the hospitality area, it’s listed under Adult and Meeting Room programming. Seems like they are the same area, correct?

No, they are not the same thing. The area listed as “new” Hospitality Area @ 60 sf is to be located for the convenience of adults accessing the Adult Collections. The area listed as Kitchen / Hospitality under the Community Meeting Room @ 100 sf is assumed to be in a different location, not with the library proper, but part of the off-hours area exclusively for use while the Community Meeting Room is occupied. Because the Community Meeting Room is ideally available for the general public during non-library hours, it will need its own hospitality area.

(post date June 21, 2023)

For the “initial submission reviews, do you know how the information will be shared with your team?

From our Guidelines, “The required form of submission shall be anonymous. Two submissions are required on July 7th by 2 o’clock pm: 1) electronic submission to Royce McGrath via email address below. 2) paper submission, wrapped (to ensure anonymity) – one full‐size copy each of all images with scale indicated.”

CLARIFICATIONS: The information will be shared with our IPL 100 Project Team, the library staff, the board of trustees, and our Professional Advisory Group electronically, because of the large number of people whose comments we wish to solicit in our process.

The initial request for one paper copy came from our Professional Advisory Group, who thought it would be easier for them to function as a group, providing one report, if they had to-scale paper drawing sets with which to work. Please note this revision: Since the creation of the Guidelines document, we have met with the PAG, and they have requested THREE bound and anonymous PAPER SETS, rolled (not mounted), so that each of them can conduct a separate review prior to their work in a group setting. (post date June 15, 2023)

ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION: (post date June 28, 2023)

The PAG is looking for three bound and anonymous paper sets of 24x36 full-size sheets submitted in a rolled format.

We understand that we will provide an electronic submission and a paper submission but should these two submissions be identical?

CLARIFICATIONS: For the INITIAL SUBMISSION, the anonymous electronic and paper submissions shall be IDENTICAL. They will be distributed to various groups in different forms, so it is important they be identical in content so that all evaluators have the same information. (post date June 15, 2023)

For instance, are you looking for presentation boards rather than a series of pages (we could see a multiple page presentation if it’s viewed on a personal/projection screen while we’d suspect that larger boards would be better if these are to be set up in a room for the team to peruse.)? Or, is the format left to our discretion?

CLARIFICATIONS: Once we arrive at the In-Person Presentations during the fourth week of July, (dates, locations, and times to be confirmed) we are obviously beyond the anonymous stage of the competition. All formats are left to your discretion to convey your work in the manner you feel best suited to communicate to your audience.

The first of this series of audiences is the IPL 100 Project Team with the Professional Advisory Group.

Following this in-person presentation, your project displays will become static. We will clarify scale and format (likely your mounted boards on your easels / tables) so that the general public can view them at their convenience and understand how to compare one team’s design work to the other two. The displays should be self-explanatory. (Venue to be determined, duration July 28 – August 8). We will issue further information on these display specifics as the time for them approaches. We do not envision project costs to be part of your static displays.

The third series of audiences at the Town Hall Theater on August 9th will be the general public, including town officials (selectboard members) who will receive individual invitations. Once again, all formats are left to your discretion to convey your work in the manner you feel best suited to communicate to your audience. Static displays will also be accommodated to allow audience members to visit your team and ask direct questions. Once again, we do not envision project costs to be part of the THT static displays, nor at your public presentations at Town Hall Theater.

(post date June 15, 2023)

Finally, the Master Group C link on the Ilsley 100 page is linked to the master group B pdf. Would it be possible to share the Group C pdf?

Good catch! You should now find the link to the correct document under Master Group C. (post date June 15, 2023)

And can you provide clarity on how the Groups (A, B, C) relate to the programming study Lettering, if at all.

The Group letters do not relate to the programming study lettering.

(post date June 15, 2023)

Do the master group adjacencies relate to what the Library would like to see on each floor or is it not that specific?

The latter assumption is correct, “not that specific”. Early in our programming explorations, we considered the off-site prospects of a new multi-level solution vs. a one-story building on a proverbial football field. This interpretation was one that we felt we could live with in terms of honoring adjacencies within an imaginary, static, but newly created footprint.

(post date June 15, 2023)

Regarding the 1986 site survey currently posted, we noticed that it appears the porch / stair to the parcel directly to the north of Ilsley appears to be built on the Ilsley property.  If this is the case, could we propose that the porch and stair be removed?

The Timothy Short Survey, dated June 7, 2023, illustrates the corrected property line information that should be used as the “work area” for your conceptual designs.  This survey DRAFT appears as a link in the PROJECT BACKGROUND MATERIALS - DESIGN COMPETITION - Surveys section above.  Quit claim deeds have eliminated the overlap between the stair / porch of the Bruya block and the Ilsley Public Library property.  As previously stated, the Town cannot present a solution involving the property or structures of another owner without proper and responsible contact.  (post date June 15, 2023)

Note:  The answer previously posted on June 9, 2023 has been replaced by the June 15 posting above.

Could you offer some guidance on the “Social Services/Police Liaison” listed in the project program. The program asks for 100 sf for this function. Should this be an enclosed office, an open “help desk,” or other type of space? Where is it best located? What are the critical adjacencies? How frequently will this space be used/occupied (daily, once a week, etc.)? If not continually occupied, could it double as something else? (post date June 9, 2023)

As our team was working through the square footage program for the Ilsley Public Library of the future, several ideas came forward that seemed to have merit as well as flexibility to enhance the Trustees’ Pillars of “Welcoming” and “Community Hub”.  These ideas are outlined in the “Program Area Descriptions” document written by our Director, Dana Hart, and dated 6.14.2022.  

The Program Area Descriptions are incorporated in bullet number 3 under 


Also of use may be referencing the Draft Adjacencies Diagrams / Master Group A, in the same section of the website. 

Draft Adjacency Diagrams for Program 

After reading these materials, should you still have questions, please email a request for those clarifications, or incorporate your responses to those thoughts in your own creative solutions, based on your experiences with current library design.

Added 6/12/2023: This space should be an enclosed office, with ample windows to maintain sightlines. While one idea for a part-time occupant would be a social services or police liaison, the office would essentially function as a swing space that would allow other organizations to have a rotating presence in the library. If not being used by an organization, the office could, theoretically, be reserved by the public. Long term, if the library staff continues to grow, it is possible that this could become a dedicated staff space years down the line. 

For the Guidelines Part F, what is the final ranking criteria?

Final ranking criteria have not been formally established at this point in time.  It is on the IPL 100 Project Team agenda to discuss and formulate those criteria prior to receipt of submissions July 7, 2023.

Is there a % applied to each of the different reviewing groups (Staff, PAG, Public) given that the voting members are limited to the Ilsley 100 Project Team?

Our responsibility as the IPL 100 Project Team is to come to a conclusion, and then put forward that conclusion in the form of a recommendation to the Selectboard who created the Team and approved its charge.  To that end, we include the following groups for different reasons:

  • Staff comments are considered critical, as they are more interested in and aware of the potential effects of planning on the details of library operations.
  • As a Team, we have formed a Professional Advisory Group in recognition of our varied backgrounds and abilities to analyze architectural documents in early stages of completion.
  • From past experience, we are also very aware of the need to offer the voting public a chance to view the competitors’ work in a static format as well as to hear their work presented in person, including fielding answers to any questions.

We anticipate both the Professional Advisory Group report as well as staff and public written comments will inform our decision.  However, at this time, there has been no discussion as to the application of percentage weights on these various components of input.

Should the Project Narrative be presented in a way so that it can be part of the E.2 Static Presentation?


For the Guidelines Part E.3, given that “ease of comparison” is mentioned when referring to entrants’ exhibits, will the committee prescribe the specific type/size of presentation material?  The Committee meeting minutes mention a model.  Will a model be permitted or would it be prohibited given the comparison note?

We would expect that the materials initially and anonymously submitted will follow our Guidelines in Section 2C as defined.  We assume the content of these materials will be included in your in-person presentations as well.  Models are not to be included as part of the initial electronic (paper copy) anonymous submission.  However, as stated further along in the E.3 section regarding in person presentations,

“You may use whatever means and methods you wish to convey the content and excitement of your presentation.”

Models are certainly an accepted and effective communication method for in-person viewing, particularly for those less skilled in interpreting 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional drawings.  As competitors will be transporting and setting up their own exhibits, we anticipate providing you an exhibit “space” of limited size to be determined depending on the venue selected.  This space will be provided for you to use as you see fit, similar to a “trade show exhibit”.

For Part F, it appears that the Project Team will not necessarily select only one team to proceed forward with schematic design.  How many firms could potentially receive the RFP?

A maximum number of 2 has been suggested in discussion, but not made official by vote.

What will the judging criteria for the preferred schematic design proposal be?

Paraphrased from ‘Section 1, Purpose’, our judging criteria will be a combination of each competitor’s ability to

  • stimulate creative facility/site design ideas that honor our program, context, and budget
  • demonstrate they are the best partners to assist with our journey through creation into execution.

Item 3 of the “competitor acknowledgements and agreements” states that the competitor will waive copyrights to their work and implies that the Project Team could ask the chosen design team to implement another firm’s ideas.  Is this the intent?

The above interpretation does not reflect our intent, in that the Statement 3 under the Competitor’s Acknowledgements Section states “copyright law does not apply to ideas…”  Our understanding is that copyright laws apply literally to copyrights, should a participant have one in place.  It is not our intent for any copyrights to be waived.

On the other hand, should a participant illustrate a “roof garden” for example, and that idea is perceived to be worthy of pursuit, the owner reserves the right to such pursuit in the final design of the library, no matter the original presenter.  This section is guided by the intent of the AIA source document, “The Handbook of Architectural Design Competitions” (2019).

During the April 3 meeting minutes, a question arose asking what would happen if the committee wants to hire one firm but likes another firm’s design.  Please confirm.

In those minutes, one can “hear” the IPL 100 Team struggling with how to conduct a Design Competition, and come to a considered conclusion.  It remains that our clear intent is as follows:

“To conduct a fair and ethical competition intended to generate a wide range of new ideas and approaches for design of its project” and

“To respect the value of each submission”.

Generally, what is the intent of the competition, given that those same minutes raise the fundamental question about whether the competition is a design competition to hire a firm or to choose a design? The minutes go on to say that the RFP will address this issue after the competition is complete.

 The intent of the competition in the context mentioned remains to do both, as outlined in our response to the question about judging criteria above.  Ideally, the submissions received will provide a clear choice that meets both criteria.  The RFP is not intended to address those issues.

A review of our original RFQ, with all of its carefully crafted criteria, states the following:

“Step 3   Corresponding Request for Proposals

The Firms / Teams submitting the Conceptual Design Proposals deemed most desirable through the vetting process outlined above in Step 2 will then be asked to provide details regarding their proposed team composition, contract format, and fee structure to develop their conceptual design through 100% Schematic Design Phase as well as for all remaining phases of proposed work through Construction Administration.”

At this point in our deliberations, contract details will only be used as a determiner if RFPs vary significantly in contract type or amounts, and one is therefore viewed as more appropriate than the other


What is the vision for this project?

The new Ilsley Public Library building will be a welcoming, accessible, and safe community hub with the flexibility and sustainability to enrich community members’ lives now and into the foreseeable future. The library is the beating heart of the community and its current location is one of the existing building’s greatest strengths: along with the Town Offices, it creates a civic anchor for Main Street, is walkable from the local schools and childcare centers, and contributes to the ideal Middlebury as portrayed in the Downtown Master Plan. In addition, the original 1924 building is a beloved historic landmark. This desirable location and the strong community support for retaining and restoring the 1924 building were crucial in the decision to renovate and expand on site, as opposed to building new elsewhere.

Increasing the library’s square footage by roughly a third will allow us to double and greatly improve the quality of the space for youth services; allow for additional public meeting rooms of various sizes; consolidate and improve quiet reading and study areas; increase access to library collections; and provide appropriate storage and staff space. A flexible design will ensure that collections, program rooms, and administrative spaces can be reconfigured in future years as community needs evolve. A renovated and expanded library will be an epicenter of activity and connection for all members of the community.

What is the scope of this project?

This project calls for some combination of demolition, renovation, additions, or new construction to bring the existing 18,330 gross square foot structure to a proposed total of 24,256. While it is permissible for the 1977 and 1988 additions to be substantially altered or demolished, the original 1924 structure must be maintained and restored.

What are the square foot details?

The existing Ilsley Public Library consists of THREE MAJOR COMPONENTS on FOUR levels, constructed at different times over the last one hundred years. For the last forty of those years, this facility has been minimally maintained, but not substantively changed or improved to meet current community needs.

ORIGINAL 1924 core structure (traditional “Carnegie-era” cruciform shape)

  • Approximately 8400 gsf

1977 ADDITION toward the Town Offices (primarily toilet rooms, elevator, stairs, staff spaces)

  • Approximately 2200 gsf

1988 ADDITION to the north (Community Room, adult stacks/computers, reference rooms)

  • Approximately 8600 gsf

Is there a target budget for this project?

The Project Team has worked with a cost estimator, Erickson Consulting LLC, to determine an order of magnitude estimate of $14.8 million (based on one possible combination of renovation, demolition and new construction that meets our target program needs). This estimate includes base construction costs (labor, material, etc.); fees and general conditions for the prime contractor, bonds and insurance for the contractor, contingency (to cover unexpected but necessary work); and escalation to cover the potential for inflation (over a one year period); owner costs at 10%; and professional fees at 10%. (See "Ilsley Public Library OPTION B - Budget Detail 11.4.2022" in the Project Background Materials for further information).

  • Construction, contractors fees, contingency, and escalation = $12,359,974
  • Owner costs = $1,235,997
  • Professional fees = $1,235,997
  • Total order of magnitude estimate = $14,831,968