RE: Public Library
By Suzan Thompson
August 19, 2010
Don Hoff Jr.'s letter to Sitnews last week states, in part: "I've
been reading the debates on the public library for some time
now... here is what I know. The present library was designed
to add additional floors for growth. It would be common sense
to add an upper floor to the existing library and would be affordable
to the taxpayer."
The present building was NOT designed to add an additional floor.
Mr. Hoff and others might be interested in the following, which
was taken from the 2003 Phase One Structural Feasibility Study
for the Tongass Historical Museum by Livingston Stone, Inc. Please
note that the study was done in the context of remodeling the
present library/museum building as a museum alone, and not as
a library, which has a much heavier floor load: " The roof
structure is lightly framed with a live load capacity of 40 psf.
This is far from adequate to serve as a future floor, especially
a museum floor. It is not anticipated that the existing roof
structure could be modified to serve as a floor. Due to tight
constraints, much of the addition must be vertical. This means
constructing on top of the existing structure. This presents
several problems. It increases the load on existing structural
elements that were not designed for another story. This would
include walls, columns, and foundations. It also greatly increases
the lateral wind and seismic loads of elements such as shear
walls and bracing. Another complication affecting the feasibility
of an addition is the age of the building. The structure was
designed under the 1964 UBC. Since wind and seismic loads have
changed dramatically over the last decade, the existing lateral
load system does not meet modern-day standards without regards
to another story. It is apparent from the analysis that neither
the vertical nor lateral load resisting elements in the existing
structure can be easily modified and strengthened to meet the
additional demands of another story. The existing roof structure
and its supporting columns cannot be strengthened or modified
to serve as the new floor for another story."
The study goes on to discuss possible ways in which the building
might be modified to serve as a museum and weighs costs and benefits.
I imagine our museum personnel would be willing to discuss this
study with interested community members. I think our museum
is a great asset to Ketchikan and its personnel should be commended
for the outstanding job they do in preserving and sharing Ketchikan's
history, and I hope that when the library moves out, the museum
is able to expand and continue its good work.
Received August 18, 2010 -
Published August 19, 2010
Library By Don Hoff Jr.
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