Borrowing and raising funds will be necessary to make the project happen.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Armed with promising financial news, Lepper Library officials are expected to decide in the next few weeks whether to proceed this year with a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation project.
Bids were opened recently for the proposed undertaking, and all of them came in below the projected cost estimate of $3.3 million, Nancy Simpson, library director, recently reported.
Had bids come in above the estimate, the board most likely would have decided to postpone the project until next year to allow for more funds to be raised, Simpson explained.
But with satisfactory bids in hand, the library's architectural firm, Domokur, Robinson and Edwards of Akron, is now reviewing the submittals and will recommend a best bid to the board, Simpson said.
The panel could meet later this month to decide whether to start construction this summer, she added.
Seven bids were submitted for the general contracting aspect of the project.
The highest, nearly $2.5 million, was from Kreidler Construction Co. of Beaver Township, Mahoning County.
The lowest, nearly $2.2 million, was turned in by Villano Construction Co. of Hubbard.
Separate, lower bids were offered for plumbing, electrical, and heating and ventilation contracts.
Combining the lower bids with those for general contracting brings the total bid average to about $3 million, Simpson said.
The library already has saved nearly $1.5 million for the project. The difference could be made up through borrowing and fund-raisers, Simpson has said.
Plans call for constructing a nearly 12,000-square-foot addition on the east and north sides of the original 1897 structure at 303 E. Lincoln Way.
The addition will include more space for books, a garage for the library's bookmobile, a conference room, children's room and reference area.
Also planned is razing a nearly 2,000-square-foot addition installed on the library's north side in the 1960s.
The old addition isn't accessible to disabled people and had a leaky roof.
Construction will take 12 to 18 months.