NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 28, 2014

Bids for library project to be opened Thursday

SALISBURY — The public library will close on Tuesday in preparation for the next step in its existence: the construction of a bigger and better version that is expected to break ground sometime in May.

According to library director Terry Kyrios, the last day for patrons to visit the current library on Salisbury Green is Monday. The next day the doors will close, as staff and volunteers start packing up for the move to a temporary location that will serve residents for the next 18 months while the new library is constructed on the same site.

The final bid for the construction of the new building will be opened at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, at Town Hall.

In May 2013, Town Meeting approved a $7.5 million bond for the library, but Salisbury taxpayers will be repaying a good deal less since the state awarded a $3,856,187 grant for the cause and nearly $1 million more has been raised in donations from generous businesses, organizations, foundations and citizens.

The Library Building Committee has worked with the architect to produce the final building design. Construction cost estimates are within the $7.5 million budget, according to planning director Lisa Pearson, with the building itself estimated to come in around $6,022,223, including architect fees, site work costs and demolition of the current library.

The remainder of the $7.5 million would be spent on other necessities, such as moving costs, rent on the temporary library space, and furniture, fixtures and equipment inside the new library.

According to Town Manager Neil Harrington, the recent recession lowered the cost of construction significantly, but since the economy is recovering, prices are rising. If the bids don’t come in on target, Harrington said changes will be required and reductions will be made, because asking for more money isn’t in the cards.

“I’m not going back to Town Meeting,” Harrington said. “They’re building the library for what we budgeted, and that’s that.”

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