Letter: Architects say Lunt is best for Falmouth library

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We feel strongly that the Lunt School represents the best and most fiscally responsible opportunity for expansion of Falmouth Memorial Library. As design professionals we have experience with community-scale design issues. As principals of five separate architectural firms, we believe that Falmouth should invest its money wisely and manage its assets thoughtfully. And as citizens, we value the potential of the proposed site as critical for the future of Falmouth.

First, the Thibodeau report tells us that the physical structure is in good shape and has no major problems. If Lunt were reused, the budget developed for this project could concentrate on the upgrades of systems for reduced operating costs and other additive features rather than foundation work and expensive site upgrades.

Second, Lunt offers valuable features that would be expensive to replicate in a new building without driving the cost up excessively. Here we refer to the durability and character of the existing masonry shell which would be hard to recreate cost-effectively in today’s dollars.

Third, the building has a lot of potential as a library. The library’s current need for space as described in the Lushington report matches up well with the usable space in the Lunt School.

Fourth, the five of us have worked on a great variety of projects involving adaptive reuse and see its potential here. Such projects are always challenging, but these are also some of the most rewarding, both economically and from a design perspective.

The Lunt building has history and holds memories for many within our community.

David Hembre, Carol Wilson, Gunnar Hubbard, Phil Kaplan, Mark Burnes