Bell: Costs of the Breckenridge library proposal |

Bell: Costs of the Breckenridge library proposal

Ken Bell,

In the impending decision on the new library, the Breckenridge Town Council is currently favoring the renovation of the old CMC building over a proposed new building adjacent to the current location. After contributions from the county and library foundation, the new building is estimated to cost the town $400,000, while the CMC renovation on is estimated to cost the town $3.3M. The council argues that they will eventually need to renovate the CMC building and it would be best to do it now using the contribution of roughly $3.1M from the county and library foundation.

Considering that for Breckenridge, a remodeled building is costing 9x a brand new building, a compelling cost/benefit analysis of the two proposals should be in order. The town acquires some additional community space in the renovation, appearing to be about 2,500 sf in a 27,000 sf building; however the town bears the burden for over 60 percent of the net costs. The current terms leave the cost disproportionate to the benefit.

I commend the council on its pursuits of a library and community center. Although this discussion has been quite polarizing, the best option may benefit all. Current terms suggest Breckenridge should take the option of the new library at a nominal cost, begin feasibility studies on a full community center on Harris St., and continue to rent to the Peak School in the interim. A compelling cost/benefit analysis may allow the town to enjoy three wonderful assets with a new library, true community center, and a second option for education. Although I’m sure a brand new library in the Harris Street location would be a terrific structure, I believe it would be at the expense of our common goal of having the best town at the best possible price.

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