NILES LIBRARY Board adjusts plans for replica
Bids opened last month exceeded the estimated cost.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- McKinley Memorial Library board members have decided to seek bids for the replica of the 25th president's birthplace, with some minor adjustments.
The board wants a contractor to build a replica of the house where President William McKinley was born Jan. 29, 1843. The McKinley Home and Research Center is planned for the South Main Street site where McKinley was born.
The board bought the Ole Main and Chowder House last year and had it demolished to make way for the new center.
A groundbreaking had been set for earlier this month but was called off when bids for the project came in higher than the anticipated cost. Eleven contractors had bid on the project, with $750,000 being the lowest.
The initial estimate was $524,000.
Scaling back: Patrick F. Finan, library director, said the board decided to eliminate the fire suppression system and opted for a regular grade elevator to knock the cost down to an estimated $630,000.
John DeFrance of Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, Niles, the project architect, has said he would scale the project to the $100-per-square-foot cost range, which amounts to $630,000.
Changes also include deferring items such as landscaping to reduce the cost.
Finan said the size and scale of the planned project hasn't changed. The board plans to advertise for bids late this month and hopes to award a contract in late March, Finan said.
Included in plans: The plan calls for the rear of the building to house a resource center and library with McKinley materials. A computer lab will be in the basement for public use. Plans also call for a meeting room on the house's second floor.
The front part of the house will be furnished and decorated with pieces from the period, including antiques and replicas.
McKinley's parents, William Sr. and Nancy Allison McKinley, moved to the Main Street house from Lisbon between 1840 and 1842 to operate an iron forge.
The future president was the seventh of the couple's nine children. When McKinley was 9, the family moved to Poland, looking for better schools. McKinley enrolled in Poland Seminary School, which was a private school at the time.
He practiced law after the Civil War, married Ida Saxton and settled in Canton, where he launched his political career. The couple had two children -- one died in infancy and the other died in childhood.
McKinley, who became president in 1897, was assassinated Sept. 6, 1901.