Issue link: http://digital.turn-page.com/i/635940
February 3, 2016 THE OAKWOOD REGISTER Vol. 25, No. 5 February 3, 2016 www.oakwoodregister.com Wright Library Board unveils plans for expansion project Oakwood Schools Foundation awards grants This winter, the Oakwood Schools Foundation awarded more than $19,000 in grants to Oakwood City Schools to support everything from language arts and academics to technology and science. "Oakwood teachers bring so much knowledge and creativity to their classrooms, but the district budget can't fund everything they'd like to do," said Julie Cannon, OSF grants chair. "We applaud the vision of Oakwood's teachers and adminis- trators who submit these innovative grant ideas, and we thank our many generous donors who make it possi- ble for the foundation to fund initia- tives that directly benefit Oakwood students." Thanks to the generosity of par- ents, alumni, students, teachers and the community, the foundation has awarded over $700,000 since 1991 to fund teacher-proposed grants for state-of-the-art classroom technol- ogy, unique academic programs, innovative learning materials, and more. The Oakwood Schools Foundation's Winter 2016 grants included full or partial funding for: • Chromebook mobile computer lab for World Languages at Oakwood Junior High School and Oakwood High School. • Smith Garden year-long outdoor education program for students in the preschool and grades 1-6 at Smith School. • OHS Academic Decathlon Team. • OJHS "Keeping Science on Track" for STEM classes • Microslide viewers and micros- lides for science classes at OJHS and OHS. • "Focus on First Grade" at Smith School to enhance the language arts curriculum. • Raspberry Pi computer equipment to support computer programming and coding in the classroom. • OHS Ladies' Breakfast Club PLC mentoring program for OJHS and OHS students. For more information on the Oakwood Schools Foundation, go to www.oakwoodschoolsfounda- tion.org. By The Wright Library Board In 2011, the Wright Memorial Public Library Board of Trustees began a comprehensive review of the library building. It was clear that the facility required repair. The last update had been in 1983, there had been severe flooding in the lower level, drainage and moisture prob- lems plagued the facility, the HVAC system was inadequate, and ceiling heights and a maze of hallways took up much of the square footage in the lower level. It was the board's responsibility to identify the critical areas of need and to formulate a plan to address those needs. The board of trustees, library staff, Oakwood residents, architec- tural firms, library consultants and engineers collaborated to develop solutions. In 2015, the library board hired Holzheimer Bolek + Meehan (HBM), a nationally recognized architectural firm specializing in library planning and design. HBM has worked with more than 300 libraries across the country since its founding in 1976, and its core philosophy is to create buildings that match the unique character of a com- munity. The firm was chosen by the board because of its strong history of working with Carnegie and other historically important libraries. HBM conducted a thorough assessment of the building (in excess of 20,000 square feet, including the historic building and three addi- tions) and met with Oakwood res- idents, staff, and the library board to explore possibilities for preser- vation, repair and enhancement of Wright Library. Of primary concern was an 8,000-square-foot addition completed in 1983. The lower level of this addition was built below grade without adequate drainage, resulting in flooding, moisture and temperature issues which are par- ticularly noticeable in the library's meeting room. Cramped hallways and low ceiling heights contribute to the problems and preclude much needed public space. HBM recommended that the orig- inal library building encompassing the historic reading rooms, vesti- bule, and entry be preserved and the original furniture refinished. The firm concluded that the problems with the 1983 addition could not be effectively resolved and recom- mended that the addition be removed and reconstructed with corrective action taken to resolve the criti- cal drainage, HVAC, and structural issues. The firm also suggested that a modest addition of approximately 4,000 square feet be built to provide more space for reading, studying, meetings, and programs. This addi- tion would feature windows facing Smith School and Katharine Wright Park with views of the wooded area behind the library. An outdoor patio was suggested for children's pro- grams. The board, all of whom are Oakwood residents, reviewed these recommendations, collected addi- tional data on cost projections and carefully considered the tax implica- tions before unanimously voting to place a 1.8 mill capital improvement bond levy on the March 15 ballot. Wright Library's share of Oakwood property tax dollars is cur- rently 1 percent. Passage of the levy would increase the library's share of local property taxes to 3 percent. In comparison, Oakwood City Schools receives 68 percent, the Montgomery County Inside Millage and Human Services Levies is 16 percent, the City of Oakwood is 9 percent, Sinclair Community College is allocated 4 percent, and Metro Parks receives 2 percent. Oakwood residents do not pay taxes to either the Dayton-Metro Library District nor the Washington- Centerville Library District, both of which have recently undertaken new building projects. Dayton Metro is in the midst of a $187 million rebuilding project and Washington- Centerville is renovating and adding 10,000 square feet to its Woodbourne Branch at a cost of $6 million. The capital levy puts Oakwood on par with surrounding communities with a total of 3.3 mills, relative to Dayton-Metro taxpayers (3.31 mills) and Washington-Centerville (3.0 mills). Wright Library's last capital levy was passed in 1937. Located in the heart of Oakwood, and on the National Register of Historic Places, Wright Library has been a vibrant and vital commu- nity asset serving generations of Oakwood families. It is a well-loved and well-used community asset, but it has not been updated or renovated since 1983 and it is now "over- due." Wright Library is one of the most recognizable civic buildings in Oakwood, a historic gem, but it is also an aging facility in need of preservation and repair. For additional information visit the Wright Library website at www. wrightlibrary.org/levy or plan to attend a community information meeting.