High bids put library construction on hold
May 27. 2014 2:00PM
Construction on the 104-year-old Dell Rapids library won’t happen until the group pushing the project can come up with more money.
Dell Rapids Library Board members were back at City Hall last week in hopes the city council would help fill a sizable funding gap that became apparent after bids on the renovation and 2,000-square-foot addition to the library were significantly higher than expected.
Library board member Tom Earley said project planners knew they’d need to raise another $100,000 for the project, which was estimated by engineers to cost about $875,000. The board, he said, expected the shortfall to be made up through more donations once construction started and the community saw progress.
But bids for the job came in earlier this month at nearly $1.1 million, more than $200,000 over projected costs. The higher-than-expected bid coupled with an additional $100,000 in engineering costs stretched the board’s shortfall to $360,000.
Because design plans had already been whittled down from a 6,000-square-foot addition last year, Earley said there are almost no areas where costs can be cut.
“We just feel that we’ve tried to squeeze it the best we can,” he said. “There’s a lot that we are not doing in terms of the restoration.”
Although more donations and grant dollars are being sought to help close the gap, Earley asked city aldermen to consider allotting some general fund dollars for the project.
“It’s not easy to come up with $300,000-plus just like that,” he said.
The council took no action but directed administration to review city finances and the feasibility of contributing tax dollars to the project.