Fri08012014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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Smoot Library project contract awarded

Board agrees: no new capital projects for the time being
The King George Board of Supervisors last week on Oct. 4 awarded a construction contract for the planned Smoot Library construction project that includes a major addition of 17,800 square feet along with renovations to the existing 10,500 square foot original structure.

The total library project is slated to cost $5,666,000. That includes the contract award of $4,866,000 to Armada Hoffler Construction Co. of VA, of Virginia Beach along with $800,000 budgeted to go towards other project-related costs for construction administration, special inspection and testing, equipment, furniture,

service fees and contingency.

The contract includes two deductions for alternate bids. One is for installation of asphalt shingles instead of synthetic slate shingles that subtracted $78,000 from the original base bid. The second deduction of $3,000 is to retain and refurbish the existing cupola, instead of having it removed.

LAST MAJOR CAPITAL PROJECT
Supervisors had to appropriate an additional $825,000 to cover the difference between the amount previously allocated of $4,840,453 and the estimated cost of the total project.
The main project money came from bond proceeds issued at the same time as the funding was borrowed for the Sheriff’s office and animal pound in 2008.
Supervisors voted to transfer that $825,000 to make up the difference.  That money came from a capital projects balance of $1.76 million that had accrued from leftover amounts not needed for several other capital projects.

The votes in regard to the library project were unanimous, 4-0, with Supervisor James Mullen disqualifying himself from voting due to a potential business conflict of interest.

But prior to the vote, Supervisors discussed the capital funding situation.

Chairman Joe Grzeika began the discussion, saying, “I’m torn between supporting this. I think the benefit of the expansion outweighs the real gut feeling I have about this expenditure. That $800,000 is going to bring that fund down to just about $900,000 left. Gentlemen, at that point, we are done with major capital projects.”

Grzeika said, “And we see that there are things that will pop up unbeknownst to us, despite how well we try to look at things.” He added, “I just go on record, that for me this is the last major project until we can see some improvement. We’ve been fortunate. We estimate very conservatively on our revenue sources and do a good job in getting some reserve each year which helps us with those unknowns. And that’s just good budget practice. So I feel confident we’ll see a reserve this year that might come in and help us boost that back up a little bit when we close the books finally on FY11. But I’m at the end of where we can make major expenditures. I think we’ve got all of our projects now. I worry about the unexpected.”

Supervisor Dale Sisson, stated, “I agree with you, Joe. I’ve been telling the same story. I think you’re right on the money.”

Supervisor John LoBuglio said, “I sort of go along with both of your comments, and I think if we didn’t go along with awarding this contract, because we did see a significant materials cost that was bid for the contract and if we let that sit any longer and let it lapse and have to rebid that in any way, shape or form, I think you’ll see another increase in material costs if we had to go out a second time. So I just wanted to make that clear.”

TIMETABLE FOR COMPLETION
The construction contract gives the library project at 488 consecutive calendar days from the date of issuance of a Notice-to-Proceed for substantial completion. Final completion is to be achieved in 30 consecutive calendar days from date of issuance of a Certificate of Substantial Completion. That current timetable would put the date for the substantial completion in the neighborhood of February or March 2013, with final completion coming in spring 2013.

A lease was executed in July with the School Board that allows Smoot Library to use the former middle school building for 18 months or until the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy for the renovated library following construction. The library is preparing to move into the former school building on Dahlgren Road and begin regular operations from that location later this fall.

LIBRARY CURRENTLY CLOSED
The Smoot Library closed its doors to the public on Sept. 4. The reopening date within the former middle school building has not yet been determined, though it is currently open for story time for pre-schoolers at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays. Updates will be posted to the Library’s webpage when available, www.smoot.org. Patrons with materials to return are directed to use the book-drop at the rear of the closed Smoot building.

Phyllis Cook

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