JTEL is extremely fortunate to have Ansgar Clausen’s cabin, built in 1974, as an asset. Until funding becomes available and construction of the new building is complete, it will be the home of the library and primary point of interaction for committee and board meetings, special events such as the seed exchange, social interaction amongst our members, and library functions. It is only 720 square feet in size, but has the capacity to house a reasonable number of volumes in the stack areas, as well as reading, work and support space. It is not without character and a cozy charm as well, and upon renovation will be a place where folks will want to go.
Through the enthusiasm and efforts of our awesome volunteers, the tired old cabin is getting new life and is being carefully planned for step by step upgrades to improve safety, energy efficiency, and accessibility, while also being reworked to function as a library. Some great work has already been accomplished, including replacement of the two old worn out exterior doors with new insulated doors, and adding insulation and gypsum board to approximately 60 percent of the building exterior. With new paint on the walls, the cabin is now much brighter and noticeably warmer with infiltration being drastically reduced.
New insulation and furring in progress!
New paint brightens things up!
Over the last month, the Facilities Committee developed three initial design Concepts A, B and C for master planning the renovation of the cabin. A final Concept D was then synthesized from the best features of the original concepts and presented to the JTEL Board of Directors on April 6th. The plan was unanimously approved. As indicated on the approved Concept Plan below, the new layout will include a small securable office, library stacks, work/reading areas, a small children’s area, kitchenette and restroom. The design will provide for full ADA access with a new exterior ramp, accessible restroom and ADA clearances throughout all areas.
Approved Concept D
Because funding is limited, a work plan was developed breaking the work down into ten “projects” envisioned to accomplish the work on a step by step basis, as funding is available, in a critical path sequence. These projects include:
1. Muck out the cabin: Move and clean out items to allow renovation work.
2. Reconfigure Restroom and Office: Remove several walls (shown dashed in the drawing above) and bathtub and build new walls (shown hatched) to allow a larger office area and leaving room for ADA clearance at the bathroom. Exterior walls in the office and bathroom would be insulated and furred. Bathtub is a Jacuzzi type and will be sold to help finance the work.
3. Level Building and Strengthen Floor: The building is out of kilter and it will be leveled after the ground thaws and dries out. In addition, additional floor structure will be added to provide code required 150 psf live load at stack areas.
4. ADA Ramp and Accessible Route: A handicapped parking spot will be designated and an accessible route will be provided to the north deck, including a ramp. This location avoids snow shedding of the roof, and provides the shortest length of ramp.
5. Stack Area Electrical: It is important to have appropriate lighting in the stack and reading areas. The two overhead fan/light units will be salvaged and reinstalled over the two new work areas, and track lighting, which offers good flexibility, will be added at the stack areas. Outlets will also be extended to the stack area.
6. Relocate Monitor and Fuel Tank: With the construction of the new office, it will be necessary to move the existing Monitor stove and fuel tank. This will get the stove into a better location and move the tank out of site. A small shed roof to protect the tank from sliding snow will be added.
7. Reconfigure Kitchen to Work Area: The bulk of the kitchen cabinets and Monarch wood cook stove will be removed and sold to help finance the work. The walls in the kitchen will be insulated and furred, and some cabinets and existing sink will be retained to provide a small kitchenette with sink and space for a microwave and mini-refrigerator. The bulk of the former kitchen space will now be a work and meeting area.
8. Floor Finish in Stacks, Office and Work: After the bulk of the construction is complete, new flooring and wall base will be installed in these areas.
9. New Library Stacks: New tall perimeter wall stacks, low shelving/window seats and five of the JTEL owned double stack units will be provided, which will provide space for approximately 5,000 volumes. Note: In the interim, shelving may be first installed over the existing plywood floor, if funding for Project 8 – New Flooring is not available.
10. ADA Restroom: This last project would complete the remodel of the bathroom to meet ADA accessibility guidelines when funding permits. In the interim, the portions of the bathroom not included in Project 2 will remain as is.
There is a long way yet to go, but making a plan to move forward is crucial step which will facilitate doing the work in a logical sequence, and in a more cost effective manner. Volunteers will be needed to help level the building and install new underfloor structure, to relocate the fuel tank, build the exterior ramp, and for various portions of the interior work. Work on Project 1 starts on April 9, and Project 2 will start immediately afterwards, including cleaning up and reworking the electrical by a volunteer electrician.
And lastly, special thanks to all our volunteers for their efforts: Hans Moelders, Scott Allen, and Jasmine Stokes for hauling books out to storage; Hans, Eric Glos and Columbo for insulating, furring and sheetrocking; and the great painting crew of Hans, Syrilyn Tong, Ginny and Mindy Gallagher, and Deirdre Helfferich. We could not be where we are now without these folks!