There are so many failing systems in the old library building that they cannot be addressed in a piecemeal fashion. The interdependencies require that they be replaced together.

However, if we cross the spending threshold over a three year period, we are required to bring the building into compliance with current building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. In order to fix just one problem, we would be forced to spend tens of million of dollars on a project that isn’t even a full renovation.

In short, the building cannot be repaired because it is an exceedingly poor investment in a defective building.


Imagine a scenario like this:

  1. The A/C units on the roof fail and must be replaced
  2. But the A/C units are sitting on a failed roof, so the roof must be replaced.
  3. But the 57-year-old electrical system is maxed out and sparking, so in order to support the new A/C units, the electrical system must be replaced.
  4. And now we’ve triggered building code and ADA requirements, resulting in a massive project that includes a new elevator and shaft, new bathrooms, reconfiguration, asbestos remediation, windows, walls, and much more.

Once we add up the cost of all of the dominoes – the interdependencies, building codes, and statutory requirements – we would be spending an estimated $30+ million (updated in July for today’s construction market), which is nearly the same amount of money as the net cost of a new building, but for an ill-advised project.