Bids for constructing the new Logan County Library were opened Sept. 25, however, the price came in a little higher than expected, which sent the library trustees and their architect back to the drawing board. After a few minor changes, the three lowest bidders were asked to make potential bid deducts. The contractor is expected to be announced soon.
The lowest of those three bidders, after the adjustments, came in at $3,061,527 with the highest at $3,161,497.
Logan County Public Library director Linda Kompanik said she was happy with the bids once some changes were made and feels the integrity of the project is still in tact.
Kompanik says most likely less than $3 million will have to be bonded. She is very proud of the library’s most recent credit rating from Standard & Poor where they received an A plus. This, said the director, will help keep the interest low on the bonds. Bonds will be sold on Oct. 30th.
“I feel very positive, very excited about the credit rating and very excited about working with the contractors. We have been as prudent as we can,” said Kompanik. “I feel confident with all three contractors who came in as the lowest bidders, added Kompanik.
When a contractor is named and the bonds sold then construction will begin says Kompanik adding that it should begin by the end of the year. The contract is for 360 days.
“It’s finally coming together. The board has been working towards this for 15 years. This is probably one of the most important projects within the community. This new library will produce an increase in educational opportunities for the citizens of the county,” said Kompanik.
The library board of trustees already has $500,000 from a Carpenter Foundation grant. The have set aside another $300,000 and have already paid the architect almost $200,000.
There has been questions by some asking if the library board can manage the new facility once it is built without raising the library tax to do it. Kompanik says, absolutely.
“The board would never have taken this project on if they didn’t think they could handle the operational costs,” said Kompanik.
The idea of building a new library began several years ago, when it was recognized that there was a lack of room both inside the building and out. One of the most immediate problems the library faces is parking.
The library is overflowing with people parking to use the library. Patrons are having to park on the narrow streets around the library and it is a major concern for the library board because of safety. According to Kompanik there have already been patrons hit in the parking lot and she herself is being told parking is a problem by those who visit the library.
The library draws a lot of children and Komapanik worries about them getting hurt coming in and out of the library with all the congested traffic.
Kompanik said the library board has done everything possible to obtain additional parking at the current location, including attempting to purchase a house next to the library to tear down making way for space. The board also tried to move parking to the back and side of the library, only to draw controversy in the neighborhood.
The current library, located on Sixth Street in Russellville, has been there for 44 years and upgrades no longer supply the needed changes a growing library requires. The building is owned by the City of Russellville and that also hinders the library’s chances to apply for grants that could be used for materials.
Five acres beside Save A Lot, off of Armory Drive in Russellville, was purchased in 2008 for $125,000 by the library board to put the new 14,000 square foot library. Some of the other things that will be offered by a new library include: easier access verses a small residential street, several more parking spaces, a streamlined design for modern library needs, increased early children resources (early literacy computers, etc.), a dedicated young adult area, an expanded genealogy space, a larger meeting room with audiovisual equipment, two small study/meeting rooms, an energy efficient system, an ADA compliant building, increased lavatory facilities, including children’s and family restrooms, and expansion capabilities.