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LR New Library Facilities Planning Study____________________________________________________________________________________ FOR CITY CLERK ONLY Council Meeting: 10/07/2019 Disposition: Accepted Report and Provided Direction to Staff to Research Funding Strategies, Create a Reuse Plan for the Carnegie Building, Review Past Group 4 work Completed for the Existing Downtown Location, and Present a Proposal for the Creation of a Conceptual Design for the Joint Library and Community Center at Albert Park. Agenda Item No: 5.b Meeting Date: October 7, 2019 SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT Department: LIBRARY AND RECREATION Prepared by: Susan Andrade-Wax, Library and Recreation Director City Manager Approval: ______________ TOPIC: NEW LIBRARY FACILITIES PLANNING STUDY SUBJECT: INFORMATIONAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SAN RAFAEL PUBLIC LIBRARY FACILITIES PLANNING STUDY RECOMMENDATION: Accept report and provide direction on staff recommendations for follow-up actions. BACKGROUND: The original Downtown Library opened at its current location on January 9, 1909. As early as 1915, the Library Trustees reported that “The Library has outgrown its book space, and further accommodation is required,” (“Library Trustees Report to Council.” Marin Journal, Volume 53, Number 33. August 19, 1915.) In the late 1950s, local architect Gordon A. Phillips was hired to design a 6,000 square foot addition that would more than double the library’s size. The expanded library was dedicated on February 28, 1960. San Rafael quickly outgrew the first library expansion and the next step was to enclose the parking area under the 1960s addition. When the new space opened in 1976, library director Vivian R. Smith called it a “short-term solution to a long-growing need for more library space.” The Pickleweed Library branch opened as part of the Albert J. Boro Community Center in July 2006, providing an additional 2,000 square feet of library space to serve East San Rafael. Service and Facilities Vision Report by Group 4 The most recent evaluation of library space and service needs in San Rafael was conducted by Group 4 Architects in 2017. The needs assessment, titled “San Rafael Public Library Service and Facilities Vision” (Facilities Vision Report), collected information and community input about existing library services and facilities, gathered community projections and priorities and completed an analysis of space needs and site requirements to plan for the future. SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 2 The Facilities Vision Report found that the Downtown Library facility had substantial weaknesses in the areas of safety and access, building systems, architectural issues and functionality. The primary challenge identified for the Pickleweed Library facility was its insufficient size. At the time of the Facilities Vision Report, the San Rafael libraries provided 14,500 square feet of library service space. According to library industry standards presented in the report and based on San Rafael’s population today, the City should have 40,000-45,000 square feet of library service space. Looking twenty (20) years into the future, Group 4 recommended 45,000-50,000 square feet, assuming an 8-percent population growth rate for the City. Graph 11 shows the amount of library space in square feet per person for a selection of California cities of comparable size to San Rafael. The Facilities Vision Report also included a community survey, funded by the San Rafael Public Library Foundation. This survey revealed citywide demand for an expanded Downtown Library, value in the idea of a Terra Linda Branch Library, strong local support for the Pickleweed Branch Library, a need for parking to accommodate a mobile population, a general demand for technology access, demand for collaborative spaces and resources and an interest in the preservation/reuse of the existing Downtown Library building for another civic purpose. As a result of the Facilities Vision Report, the City commissioned two additional studies, which were both conducted by Noll & Tam Architects. Existing Facilities Report by Noll & Tam One of the studies evaluated the current state of the Carnegie Library and provided a cost estimate of addressing the identified weaknesses in the areas of safety and access, building systems, architectural issues and functionality. The “Existing Facilities Report” identified the scope of work necessary for the downtown facility to remain operational and code compliant for at least five years. The report identified five (5) primary scopes of work that would need to be addressed. These included waterproofing the 1 Adapted from Noll & Tam’s “San Rafael Public Library Facilities Planning Study”. 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.60 1.80 2.00 Mill Valley Burlingame Palo Alto Watsonville Mountain View Alameda Free Library South SF Public Library Daly City San Rafael Graph 1: Square Foot of Library Space Per Person SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 3 building, electrical life safety updates, plumbing and ADA compliance, carpentry code upgrades and additional remedial construction. The report estimates that, if all construction was done in a single phase, the total cost would be approximately $1.77 million to make the current downtown facility operational and code compliant. If the construction is completed in phases, the cost would be approximately $2.39 million. Facilities Planning Study by Noll & Tam The initial goal of the other study conducted by Noll & Tam was to establish a range and prioritization of options for the City to consider when establishing goals for new library facilities. The process and results of this study are the focus of the remainder of this staff report. The “Facilities Planning Study” conducted a top view building plan (a bird’s eye view of what a footprint would look like for building, grounds, parking) with land acquisition, capital and cost estimates for the following: • Three potential sites for the Downtown Library • An expanded Pickleweed branch • Three potential sites for a new Terra Linda branch library In January 2018, City Council authorized the City Manager to execute an agreement with Noll & Tam to conduct this study. After initial meetings between City staff and Noll & Tam, an expanded New Library subcommittee was formed. The subcommittee was comprised of Vice Mayor McCullough and Councilmember Bushey, as well as representatives from the Library Board, the Library Foundation and City staff. This subcommittee met to review the preliminary findings from Noll & Tam and continued to meet throughout the study period to discuss the ongoing process. In December 2018, during Noll & Tam’s community outreach process, the Library opened a pop-up location at the Northgate Mall that added 3,000 square feet of library space. Between June 2018 and May 2019, Noll & Tam hosted three sets of public meetings to solicit community input on the location options and building plans. The below table summarizes the locations, dates and participation at the public meetings. Dates Locations Total Participants First Set of Community Meetings June 26, 2018 June 28, 2018 June 30, 2018 Terra Linda Community Center City Council Chambers Albert J. Boro Community Center >50 Second Set of Community Meetings October 16, 2018 October 18, 2018 October 20, 2018 Terra Linda Community Center San Rafael Community Center Albert J. Boro Community Center >60 Third Set of Community Meetings April 27, 2019 April 30, 2019 May 2, 2019 Albert J. Boro Community Center Terra Linda Community Center City Council Chambers <40 Based on the community input, Noll & Tam developed building plans and cost models for a Pickleweed expansion, three (3) location options for North San Rafael/Terra Linda and three (3) locations for downtown San Rafael. SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 4 ANALYSIS: As this report is informational, there is no staff recommendation for formal action. However, staff has developed a series of initial recommended actions based on the findings from the “Facilities Planning Study” for the City Council to review, consider and provide direction. The findings of the study and staff recommendations for each of the three sites are provided below. Pickleweed Expansion Findings Through the public meetings, Noll & Tam identified significant support for the largest possible expansion of the Pickleweed Branch, without encroaching on the existing playground and recreational features. Community members highlighted the need for senior programming space, a children’s area, a teen space and emphasized the importance of flexible spaces. The option recommended by Noll & Tam included adding 5,000 square feet of new library space and thirty-six (36) new parking spaces for an estimated cost of $7.4 million and a total of 7,000 square feet of library space. Initial Staff Recommendation: While the expansion recommended by Noll & Tam provides the greatest square footage of the options explored in the study, it requires building over the current barbeque and picnic area. This area was highlighted by community members as an important resource that should be retained. Additionally, at the time of the study, the Library and Community Services departments had not yet merged. With the merger of the new Library and Recreation department, there may be possibilities of greater collaboration and expansion within the adjacent Albert J. Boro Community Center. This shared use is particularly appropriate as the Albert J. Boro Community Center programming is largely free or low cost in a way that aligns with Library offerings. Staff recommends that the City explore options for expanding the Pickleweed Library within the existing Community Center/Library footprint, rather than expanding the building footprint. Terra Linda Branch Findings In North San Rafael/Terra Linda, Noll & Tam focused on three potential sites: the Northgate Mall, Miller Creek School District and the Terra Linda Community Center. In December 2018, the Library opened a pop-up location at the Northgate Mall. The pop-up library has added 3,000 square feet of library space without increased staffing costs and almost no additional monthly costs due to a partnership with the Marin County Free Library. Additionally, the pop-up has been popular and received positive feedback from the community. As a result of the pop-up experience, Noll & Tam recommended pursing opportunities to secure a larger site within the Northgate Mall as the most cost-effective option. They predict that the City could increase their square footage by up to 11,000 for an estimated $1-5 million. Initial Staff Recommendation: As the Northgate Mall pop-up has successfully expanded library services to the Terra Linda community with minimal cost, staff recommends that the City continue to operate the Northgate Mall as an ongoing branch location. Staff will also continue to explore cost effective expansion options within the Northgate Mall. Downtown Library Findings Through the planning process, Noll & Tam identified three (3) potential downtown sites: expansion of the current Carnegie facility, a new facility at Boyd Park and a renovated joint community center and library at Albert Park (the current San Rafael Community Center facility on B Street). Critical components of the downtown library include the need for a central location that is approachable by car, transit, bicycle or on SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 5 foot. Additionally, Noll & Tam identified a strong community desire to maintain the Carnegie building, whether used as a library or for another civic purpose. In addition to the public meetings conducted by Noll & Tam, the San Rafael Public Library Foundation funded a community survey conducted by the OSR Group to elicit feedback on the three downtown library options. The survey was conducted in English and Spanish from May 8 to 21, 2019 and elicited 1,057 responses. The results of the survey are summarized below and also available on the San Rafael Public Library Foundation’s website at: http://srplf.org/surveyresults.pdf. Carnegie Remodel (Current location): The proposed Carnegie remodel would result in 27,000 square feet of library facility for an estimated cost of $34 million. This would preserve the original 1909 Carnegie and would include a three-story addition and a parking deck over existing City Hall parking. The OSR Group survey found that 51% of respondents preferred an expansion of the existing facility. Boyd Park: The new facility at Boyd Park would result in 20,000 square feet of library space for an estimated cost of $23 million. This facility would include some underground parking and would require demolition of the existing tennis court. Potential challenges to this site include limits to the size (adjacent historic building and heritage trees) as well as traffic issues and safe pedestrian access. The OSR Group survey found that 13% of respondents preferred the Boyd Park location. Albert Park: The renovated facility at Albert Park would result in 26,000 square feet of library space, 17,700 square feet of community center space and would cost an estimated $43 million. The Albert Park option would maintain the same amount of community meeting space as the current San Rafael Community Center while preserving the existing ornamental garden, increasing parking in the area and improving outdoor space for the Parkside Children’s Center. It would also provide a unique opportunity for collaborative recreational and library programming. The primary community concerns related to the Albert Park option include safety and inconvenience. The OSR Group survey found that 24% of respondents preferred the Albert Park location. Other Considerations: If either the Boyd Park or Albert Park location were selected, the City would need to create a re-use plan for the existing Carnegie site. If the Carnegie location is selected, the City would need to create a displacement plan for the Downtown Library. Initial Staff Recommendation: While community support for the current location is high, staff believes that the Albert Park option provides a greater benefit to the community and greater opportunities for innovative and forward-looking services. The City’s ability to maintain multiple community-serving buildings in many separate locations is limited. Selecting a site other than the current location does not indicate a lack of desire to retain the Carnegie building. Staff suggests creating a re-use plan for the Carnegie that focuses on community/civic use so that it continues to serve the San Rafael community. Staff is recommending that the City further explore the Albert Park option by using funds from the Measure C Parcel Tax Capital Set-Aside Fund Balance to create a conceptual design for a joint library and community center at Albert Park. In addition, staff would begin to identify and evaluate funding strategies, not just for the Albert Park site but for possible costs at Pickleweed or Terra Linda as well. The following chart summarizes what the future square footages could be given the above recommendations. SAN RAFAEL CITY COUNCIL AGENDA REPORT / Page: 6 Facility Current Square Footage Possible Future Sq.Ft Downtown Library 12,500 (Carnegie) 26,000 (Albert Park) Northgate Mall Branch 3,000 3,000-11,000 Pickleweed Branch 2,000 3,000-7,000 TOTAL 17,500 32,000-44,000 FISCAL IMPACT: This item is an informational report, which has no direct fiscal impact on the City. The fiscal impact of subsequent projects or studies resulting from this discussion will be assessed and determined on a case- by-case basis. OPTIONS: The City Council has the following options to consider on this matter: 1. Accept report and provide feedback and direction to staff as listed below: a. Explore options for expanding the Pickleweed Library within the existing Community Center/Library footprint. b. Continue to operate the Northgate Mall as an ongoing branch location and explore cost effective expansion options within the Northgate Mall. c. Create a conceptual design for a joint library and community center at Albert Park for the Downtown Library. d. Begin to identify and evaluate funding strategies. 2. Do not accept the report. 3. Provide alternative direction and direct staff to return with more information. RECOMMENDED ACTION: Accept report and provide direction on initial staff recommendations for follow-up actions.