Library planning: Facilities committee talks with teams about Mount Olive project
By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 24, 2013 1:46 PM
Albi McLawhorn, in dark suit, project architect with MHA Works of Greenville, and Scott Wynne, to his left, an estimator with TA Loving of Goldsboro, present the companies' plans for a new Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive Tuesday to the Wayne County Facilities Committee.
This photo of the old Belk building in Mount Olive was taken more than a year ago when community groups joined forces to raise $350,000 for the library project. Some of those who made that effort a success were at the meeting Tuesday as plans for construction of the new library were discussed.
The five design/build teams interested in building Mount Olive's new Steele Memorial Library agreed Tuesday that the existing design is a good one, although some noted that it is too expensive for the county's needs, with one even calling it "extravagant."
But they all said not only could they complete the project within eight to 10 months once they get the go-ahead, but could do so cheaper than the $120-per-square-foot price set by the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
One way to save money, the company representatives said, would be to eliminate a clerestory -- an outside wall that would rise above the roof and would contain windows to provide natural lighting for the building.
It would less expensive to use solar tubes in which a small dome is placed on the roof to gather daylight and distributes it through a reflective tube and a defuser into a room, they said.
They also suggested more use of traditional skylights.
The county Facilities Committee spent five hours Tuesday listening and asking questions as the teams' talked about past projects, their experiences in design/build and their ties to Wayne County, Goldsboro and Mount Olive.
Neither final costs nor bids were discussed. That will not happen until a team is selected to build the library.
In design/build, an architect and general contractor form a team that works under one contract with the project owner, in this case the county, providing both design and construction services.
The committee did not announce a decision and instead recessed until 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6, when it will reconvene and make a recommendation to the full Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Chairman Steve Keen asked how the library leadership would fit into the process.
"At lunch I was talking to our library director (Donna Phillips) and sort of getting a feel of where they are and where they will be in this process," he said. "So help me out to give me some standards that you would go along with your subs (contractors) in relation to bringing alongside our director and her ideas within the design process.
"If you are going to use the design that we already have, if you are going to play off that and reconstruct will that (library) team be a part of your team going forward with the subs?"
Librarians know what it is going to take in terms of computers and technology, all of "the bells and whistles" for the next 10 to 15 years, Keen said.
"The librarian or whoever is on staff that will be part of that, we actually consider them part of the team," said Kent Warren of Jackson Builders, the day's final presenter. "We have got to make sure what we put out there for them to use is something that is of value to them.
"They would have interaction with it. Our subs would have interaction with it. We want to make sure that we give them what they ask for."
Mrs. Phillips attended the meeting along with library advisory board Chairman Howard Scott and former director Jane Rustin. Also in attendance were Jimmy Williams of Mount Olive, who has been working with the Steele Memorial Library Steering Committee, and Commissioners Ed Cromartie (an ex officio member of the library advisory board), John Bell and Bill Pate.
The teams making presentations, listed in order of design firm/contractor, were: MHA Works of Greenville/TA Loving of Goldsboro; Hite Associates of Greenville/Bordeaux Construction Co. of Durham; Brennan Architects of Columbia, S.C./Hudson Brothers of Greenville; Dunn & Dalton of Kinston/Daniels & Daniels of Goldsboro; and Smith Engineering & Design of Goldsboro/Jackson Builders of Goldsboro.
The five teams were recommended to the committee by County Manager Lee Smith and county staff following a review of the teams' responses to the county's request for qualifications.
The teams were brought in one at a time, with each given up to 45 minutes to make their presentations.
The county has not established a deadline as to when the library project might start. However, a completion time of 10 months or less has been discussed.
The library was included in the board's recently adopted capital improvement plan for 2013-14 at a projected cost of $3.5 million -- the original project estimate. The $3.5 million was appropriated by the previous board of commissioners several years ago. However, the current board has set a target cost of $120-per-square-foot, which would reduce total project to about $2,426,160.
The project will renovate the former Belk department store building on West Main Street to house the library. The county purchased the building in 2008 from Mount Olive College.
The Steele Memorial Library Steering Committee spearheaded a grassroots fundraiser that raised more than $350,000 to pay for the design work for a project to renovate the 20,218-square-foot building.