10/07/13 — Construction beginning on new Mount Olive library

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Construction beginning on new Mount Olive library

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 7, 2013 1:46 PM

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Submitted artwork

This rendering illustrates what the new Steele Memorial Library is expected to look like once renovation and construction is completed on the former Belk's department store. Floor and structural plans have been completed for the project.

Renderings and floor and structural plans have been completed for the new Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive.

"I am so excited to tell you that we have started construction on the Steele Memorial Library," County Purchasing Manager Noelle Woods told Wayne County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. "The contracts for demolition and design have been signed. Demolition has started, and the design phase is almost complete."

The demolition work is "coming along pretty nicely," said Kent Warren of Jackson Builders.

"There was a little bit of (asbestos) abatement work to be done there," Warren said. "The actual work in getting materials outside the building has taken place. The removal should be complete sometime as we speak."

In addition, he said, the company did some interior demolition.

Members of the county library committee have been consulted on and reviewed the renderings for the project, Warren said.

He said he expected to have submitted the plans to the inspections department by the end of last week.

"We also are in the process of getting each trade bid out," Warren said. "That is coming along well. We see a lot of progress in getting costs for the project under control."

Warren said he thinks commissioners will be pleased when they see the final pricing and contract proposal at their next meeting.

Commissioner Ed Cromartie said he had spoken with Library Director Donna Phillips, who is satisfied with the progress that has been made.

Cromartie, who lives in Mount Olive, said he drives by the site several times a day.

"I can see the progress that is being made," he said. "It is interesting some of the stuff that you see going on around there."

Commissioners established a $300,000 capital project ordinance for the library project in August. At that same time, the board approved initial contracts of $70,000 for demolition and $65,000 for design and engineering with the design/build team of Smith Engineering & Design and Jackson Builders, both of Goldsboro.

A capital project ordinance allows the county to put in the money so that commissioners do not have to keep reappropriating funds for a project.

The final contract for the complete project could be approved when commissioners meet on Oct. 15.

The project will renovate the former Belk department store building on West Main Street to house the library. The county purchased the building in November 2008 for $400,000 from Mount Olive College.

The Steele Memorial Library Steering Committee conducted 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.