In answer to the often asked question, "When will the work on the library addition start?" we have been responding that it will start when we have raised enough money. That amount would not be known until the scope of the work had been determined and plans and specifications had been drawn up, bid packages created and sent out and the cost of the work determined from adding up those bids.
The library board chose to use a construction manager instead of a general contractor in order for local businesses and skilled trades’ people to be able to bid on this community project. The bids for the 13 different packages making up the Jamieson Expansion Project were due on Thursday, January 23rd. The Jamieson Expansion Committee met after the bids were opened to tabulate the results. (The Committee is bound by law to award the bids to the lowest responsible bidder in each of the 13 bid packages.) We had all crossed our fingers that the bids, along with the other costs to renovate the historic Jamieson Building, would total close to the amount of money our generous friends have donated to this exciting endeavor.
We anxiously anticipated the bid opening date like children counting the days until Santa arrived. Professional advisors took us through the bid process and when all the low bids were tabulated and all costs included, we found that we had a shortfall in available funds. We will do our best to get the budget components and costs in line, deferring when and where we can, but we still need help raising enough money to proceed.
Abandoning this project after we've come so far, after so many of you have donated so generously to this cause, and after we've come to believe in the reality of more space for our children's area, is not an option as far as the Library Board, Friends of the Library, Jamieson Expansion Committee, architect Jim Gersich and construction manager Nic Bortz are concerned. Although our plans for the renovation are not lavish, there are some ways we will be able to adjust the scope of the work to more closely match the funds on hand.
I know that you are behind the Library 100%. Many of you have donated very generously to help make this dream a reality, and I have serious reservations about asking any of you to do any more than you have already. But I'm not asking for myself. I'm asking for the future generations of bright eyed youngsters who have been drawn under the spell of a good book through the skillful efforts of an inspiring children's librarian. It's not to say that this hasn't happened already in the cozy space we now have. In fact, it's a testament to our children's librarian Katy Hanousek that we so desperately need more space to accommodate the many youngsters and care givers who flock to her excellent early literacy, elementary and teen programs. Attendance at these reading programs has mushroomed, but they threaten to collapse under the weight of their own success when conditions are so crowded that the quality of the experience suffers.
So, I come to you reluctantly, asking if you could possibly find it in your hearts and wallets to give just a bit more to ensure that all that has been accomplished so far has not been in vain. Donations are tax deductible and should be made to the Friends of the Library. We are so close to accomplishing an endeavor that has been a dream of our community for many years. Together, we can do it, but we need just a bit more help from you, and we need it very soon because the clock is ticking on the timetable and how long the bids are good for. Thank you for all you've done and will do to get this renovation completed in time for our Summer Library Program. God bless you!
See you @ the Library!