10/27/13 — Commission OKs contract for Mount Olive library

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Commission OKs contract for Mount Olive library

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 27, 2013 1:50 AM

A $2.275 million contract for a new Steele Memorial Library in Mount Olive was unanimously approved by Wayne County commissioners during a Friday morning special session.

Approval is contingent on County Attorney Borden Parker's final review and approval of the contract with Jackson Builders and the addition of a performance bond.

Parker said the company had wanted to wait to add the performance bond until the contract had been awarded.

The company has 240 days from this past Thursday to complete the project, meaning that the new library could be open by next June.

Kent Warren, Jackson Builders vice president and project manager, told commissioners the design has been completed and drawings have been submitted to the county Inspections Department.

Parker noted that the contract being awarded Friday was with Jackson Builders only, since the design contract with Smith Engineering & Design had been fulfilled.

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 origin design was created by RATIO Architects in Raleigh. However, commissioners terminated the contract to look for a less-costly project using design/build.

Commissioners awarded the project to Smith Engineering & Design/Jackson Builders in August.

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 $2.275 million does not include the $65,000 spent for the design and another $64,172 spent for demolition and asbestos abatement.

The breakdown of the $2.275 million does include $163,190 for site-related items such as paving and concrete, $140,383 for furnishings, signs and equipment and $1,971,427 for building-related items.

Commissioner Joe Daughtery asked what the $140,383 for furnishings, signs and equipment included.

Warren said the cost has $50,000 for a theft detection system. It includes radio frequency ID tags for up to 70,000 library items and the detector equipment that will be next to the entrances, Warren said.

It also includes site furnishing such as benches, planters and similar items not normally associated with construction costs, he said.

The $2.275 million does not include $500,000 for furniture and technology.

Commission Chairman Steve Keen questioned if that would be sufficient.

Both County Manager Lee Smith and Chris Cowan with the county's information technology program, said it would be sufficient and might be more than is needed.

Cowan said the IT design for the library is not for today's needs, but for needs 10 to 20 years down the road.

Commissioners asked Smith about the new library's yearly operational costs. Currently, it costs $115,560 yearly to operate the existing Steele Memorial Library, Smith said.

The new library, and additional staff, will cost an additional $53,245 annually, he said.

Warren said much of the original design remains, while some changes were made to reduce the cost.

For example, the county will save nearly $114,000 by eliminating a clerestory, an outside wall that rises above a roof that has windows to provide natural lighting. It has been replaced by much-less-expensive skylights that accomplish the same goal, he said.

More savings were realized by not relocating the front entrance, as had been suggested in the RATIO plan, Warren said. Leaving the entrance where it is eliminates extensive and costly major structural changes, he said.

A third change relocates the utilities connection from the alleyway that runs alongside the building to the Chestnut Street side of the building. That eliminates the need to tear up and repave the alleyway as well as doing drainage work, Warren said.

The design does call for completely new exterior finishes and canopies over entrances to the building on Main Street, Chestnut Street and from the back of the building.

There will be two covered seated reading areas in front of the building on Main Street.

In other business Friday, commissioners approved paying up to $7,720 monthly for the next seven months for an engineer to monitor the replacement of elevators at the County Office Building.

The Brennan Group, that is working on the county jail, designed the elevator project at no cost. However, rules require that the engineer of record monitor the project from start to finish.

The plan is to work on one elevator at the time.

Commissioners also approved the transfer of $216,111.09 to the U.S. 70 Corridor Commission.

Wayne County has managed the commission's finances and other duties since it was formed several years ago.

However, the commission recently incorporated and has asked that the funds, which belong to the commission, be transferred to it.

There was a stipulation to the board's approval.

Before the commission incorporated, Wayne County took on a $350,000 economic impact study on U.S. 70 and Interstate 795 through a state Department of Transportation grant.

The DOT pays the county which then pays the company doing the work.

Commissioners were concerned that if the state was unable to pay that the county would be liable.

Smith said he had spoken to commission officials who had assured him that the commission would front the money should that happen. Then, when the state did pay, the county would reimburse the commission.

The motion including making that arrangement part of the agreement. It was unanimously approved.

The board also approved the fees the commission pays the county to maintain the commission website, $1,909.44, and for allowing clerk to the Board Marcia Wilson who also acts as the commission board clerk.

Commissioners approved the fees, but not the amounts were subject to renegotiation in 2014.