I’m shocked at the total cost -- $26.2 million seems huge. Why is it so much?

Sticker shock is inevitable when we buy something large for the first time in twenty years: a car, a house, or a year of college tuition. We believe these costs are justified.

First, the numbers are not inflated. This project meets the documented uses and needs that were studied and reported in the Building Program, a detailed analysis required by the Commissioners, and reviewed by them for accuracy.  Also, the rules required us to pay for a professional cost estimate of the project as drawn, with a three-year cost-escalation, which is where the numbers came from. We did not guess at any of these numbers.

Second, the program rules require a proposal that will serve the town for at least twenty years. Though no one can say exactly how Library uses will change in that time, we were required to plug in state projections of population growth, to be sure that we not outgrow the building prematurely.

Third, the Trustees have committed to a $1.1 million capital fund campaign (which we are confident we can achieve), and the Commissioners have also offered us a $320,000 LEED grant, if we reach (as we will) certain standards of energy efficiency. These two amounts, combined with the $9.2 million state grant, would reduce the town share of the project to $15,671,145. We believe this is a fair price for a great Library.

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1. Why are you doing this right now? Why the time pressure?
2. Didn’t we just remodel the Library a few years ago? Why do we need to do it again?
3. Why can’t we just move the Children’s Department to the front of the building?
4. I’m shocked at the total cost -- $26.2 million seems huge. Why is it so much?
5. How would that affect my property tax bill?
6. I heard that the state would have given a 75 percent grant to a joint Library project submitted by two towns. Is that true? If so, why didn’t the Trustees submit a joint application for a regional Hin
7. At Town Meeting 2017, the Library warrant article said there would be other renovation plans besides this one, for the town to consider. Do those plans exist?
8. Couldn’t you have just waited until the next round of state funding?
9. If Town Meeting does not approve the funding, can’t we apply again next time?
10. In the last renovation, I remember the Library moved to the old East School while the work went on. That building is gone now. Where would the Library move temporarily this time?
11. If we approve this at Town Meeting 2019, how long would it be before the renovated Library opens?
12. Why can’t we see a model, or more detailed outside or inside color drawings?
13. We have so many other needs in Hingham: a new school to replace aging Foster School, at least one new fire station to replace 75-year-old buildings, a cramped Town Hall and even more cramped Senior Ce